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Police chief denied a new appointment


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POSTED: Thursday, May 21, 2009

Saying “;it's time for new leadership,”; the Honolulu Police Commission refused yesterday to grant Chief Boisse Correa another five-year term as the city's top law-enforcement officer.

               

     

 

19 SOUGHT TOP COP POST IN 2004

        The last time the Honolulu Police Commission searched for a police chief, there were 19 applicants. Four finalists underwent psychological exams and oral interviews. The commission took about four months to select Boisse Correa, who was appointed in 2004.
       

The last seven chiefs have come from within the department. If the commission again promotes from within, candidates might include the two deputy chiefs, including Paul Putzulu, who ran the department when Correa was recovering from back surgery in 2007. There are also six assistant chiefs, about 20 majors and several captains.

       

Star-Bulletin staff

       

 

       

Chairwoman Christine Camp said the vote, during a one-hour, closed-door meeting, was unanimous.

“;It's our best judgment that we find a new chief because we don't believe that the chief will remain the full five years,”; Camp said.

But Correa denied that was the reason. “;I just want to set the record straight. This process has not been about one year or five years. It's really been about the commission wants another chief, and that's their prerogative.”;

The 63-year-old chief, who began his career with the Honolulu Police Department at age 24, will serve out his term, which ends Aug. 27.

Camp said commissioners had no one in mind to replace Correa and will start the search for a new chief. The job pays $136,236 a year.

She said the commission wants someone who will serve the full term and can run the department with a limited budget.

Correa said he has been honored to serve and boasted of Honolulu's low crime rate and of progress made in technology and community policing.

“;I'm going to miss the department ... but I will always be involved in public service,”; he said.

Correa did not take questions after making a statement to reporters.

;[Preview]  Boisse Correa Speaks Out
 

The Honolulu Police Commission did not renew Correa's contract but Correa says he was essentially forced out.

Watch ]

 

Two weeks ago, commissioners said they rated Correa's 2008 performance as exemplary, the highest rating. But the chief's 2007 evaluation did not go as well.

The commission criticized him for not informing members about a four-month absence because of back problems.

Through the years, Correa also appeared to lose favor with many of the rank and file because of decisions to eliminate a four-day workweek and over disciplinary policies.

“;We're pleased, and we're satisfied (at the commission's decision),”; said Tenari Maafala, president of the police union, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, which testified against Correa at a commission meeting last month. “;It's not something to jump for joy, but it was strictly business. It was never personal,”; Maafala said.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the commission acted appropriately in deciding to seek a new chief for a five-year term. “;Boisse Correa has done an outstanding job as chief of police,”; he said in a statement. “;As I understand it, Chief Correa was looking to serve only through sometime next year.”;

Commissioner Craig Watase said the commission acted independently in making its decision.

“;The union had nothing to do with the decision-making, the mayor had nothing to do with the decision-making. This was the commission acting as representatives of the citizens of the city and county,”; he said.