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Diverse finalists vie to be top cop


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POSTED: Friday, November 06, 2009

The six finalists in the search for Honolulu's next police chief make up a diverse group, including a woman, an African-American, two Asians and a native Hawaiian.

The four who currently serve with the Honolulu Police Department are Capt. Louis Kealoha, acting Chief Paul Putzulu, Assistant Chief Debora Tandal and Assistant Chief Delbert Tatsuyama.

Two mainland contenders are Cmdr. Harry Markley of the Phoenix Police Department and Cmdr. Gary Yamashiroya of the Chicago Police Department.

A selection committee concluded its assessment of candidates Wednesday, paring the remaining list of 11 applicants down to four finalists and presenting the list to the Honolulu Police Commission and then adding two more names at the request of the commission.

Chairwoman Christine Camp said she asked the committee to broaden the pool, so the committee added two more names from the top of the list of remaining finalists.

Six names were listed because the commissioners wanted to interview for themselves half the 11 finalists, Camp said.

She said the commission did inform the selection committee that members should submit a list of three to five finalists to keep costs down.

However, when she checked with the consultant, she learned it would not matter how many made it to the final phase.

“;It's our call as to who makes it through to the psych (assessment),”; Camp said. “;We want to be able to touch and feel the candidates. We're so in the dark, and we don't even know who these people are.”;

The committee worked with the consultant and reduced the applicant pool from the 19 candidates who took the written exam to 13, committee Chairman Tim Johns said in an e-mail to the commission. Two withdrew, leaving 11.

Committee members concluded grading and ranking the 11 by Wednesday, and the committee recommended the top four candidates.

Camp said two more were added and that a psychological assessment was conducted on all six yesterday.

Information from a Phoenix Police Department Web site shows Markley, who served there for more than 20 years, obtained his bachelor's degree in business and economics from Hawaii Loa College. He commands the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy.

Kealoha, a 26-year HPD veteran, has been captain for four years and serves with the Juvenile Services Section.

Tatsuyama, a 29-year HPD veteran, has been assistant chief since 2007.

Tandal, a 30-year veteran, has overseen the Support Services Bureau since 2008 and has served as Pearl City district commander.

Deputy Chief Putzulu has been serving as acting chief since Chief Boisse Correa, who became chief in 2004, retired in August.