Backers see police chief sworn in


POSTED: Thursday, November 26, 2009

Louis M. Kealoha's swearing-in as Honolulu's 10th chief of police was marked by the numerous relatives and friends who packed the mayor's office for the ceremony along with top police brass, commissioners and dignitaries.

“;I have many things to be thankful for today: my beautiful family, my beautiful friends and the opportunity to serve as chief of police of the City and County of Honolulu,”; Kealoha said yesterday.

He also thanked the rank and file, the police union, the Police Commission and the mayor.

The former captain acknowledged “;first and foremost”; his mother, Beatrice, who sat smiling in the front row; his wife, Kathy, whom he referred to as “;the real chief”;; his 10-year-old daughter, Kristina; his 90- and 91-year-old grandmothers-in-law; brother Andre Peters, a Honolulu police officer; and other relatives. The invited guests included retired Navy Adm. Thomas Fargo, former commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific.

;[Preview]  HPD's new chief is sworn in

Captain Louis Kealoha was sworn in a the Honolulu Police Departments new chief.

Watch ]


Kealoha was sworn in by Circuit Judge Michael Town, the same judge who swore in Kathy Kealoha, a former assistant city prosecutor and now director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control, one of Gov. Linda Lingle's top administrators. As his wife and daughter prepared to pin on the chief's stars, Kealoha joked: “;This could be sore. That's why I put my vest on.”;

Kathy Kealoha said she didn't help her husband in his bid for or preparation for his new role as chief.

“;We both have really busy schedules,”; she said. “;He did this on his own. I focus on my own work.”;

His daughter bumped fists with her dad and then spontaneously hugged him. The Star of the Sea fifth-grader later got a little emotional as she told the Star-Bulletin she was “;really proud of him.”;

“;I think it's going to be hard, but I think he can do this,”; Kristina Kealoha said. “;I know he can. He's an awesome guy, fair and really nice.”;

His mother said he has worked hard since he was young, and is deserving.

“;When Louis was real young, he's always had the desire to help anyone,”; Beatrice Kealoha said. “;We always told him, 'Whatever you undertake, do good and always follow that goal and work hard toward it.'”;

After the ceremony outside the mayor's office, some cousins of the chief waited patiently for their turn as a long line of officers, one by one, congratulated the new chief, shaking his hand and contributing to the leis around his neck.

Kelvin Espiritu, an officer with the Specialized Services Division, brought his young family with him to greet the new chief.

“;He was my very first patrol supervisor (in Waikiki),”; he said. “;He's a very hands-on and lead-from-the-front kind of guy. Rather than tell you what to do, he showed you what to do.”;

He added: “;He's a very fair guy. He's a very intelligent guy ... with the highest moral values.”;

Espiritu says he has faith Kealoha will do “;what is right for the many”; and “;is not going to put himself first.”;

Stan Aquino, Oahu Chapter chairman of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, noted there was a lot of extended family at the ceremony, and it was also unusual for SHOPO officials to be invited as well.