Monday, December 27, 1999

Napoleon, homicide
chief, retiring

The HPD lieutenant has been
'on call' 24 hours a day,
since 1992

By Rod Ohira


As head of homicide investigations for the Honolulu Police Department, Allen Napoleon has been "on call" 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 1992.

"It became part of my life," he said of his pager. "I even slept with it. And whenever you go out, you always take an extra set of clothes with you."

When the pager goes off, Napoleon can only expect the worst.

"You get used to it," said the 57-year-old police lieutenant, who is retiring Friday after 32 years with HPD.

Napoleon, a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and Chaminade College, estimates his detail averaged 35-40 homicide investigations a year during his tenure and had a closure rate of more than 80 percent.

He's especially proud of the detail's investigative work on the Lily Pang (June 1992), Kototome and Goro Fujita (February 1994) and Ellen Lum (November 1994) cases.

Brian Kikuyama and Raita Fukusaku were charged with murdering Pang and the Fujitas, while Harry and Samson Kauhi and Leann Abraham were charged in the Lum case.

Working homicides has affected his outlook on life, says Napoleon.

"It's made me cherish life even more," he said. "I think the cases that affect us the most are the ones with innocent victims like babies and the elderly, people who cannot protect themselves."

Seven detectives are currently assigned to the homicide detail.

"Things can get overwhelming for us at the scenes so it's important for us that he's there, helping with a lot of stuff like making notification," homicide Det. Larry Tamashiro said.

Added Det. Hal Fitchett, who joined the homicide detail in 1992: "Basically, he lets us do what we need to do," Fitchett said. "He doesn't tell us how to do the job."

Deputy Chief Robert Au, a former homicide detective, describes Napoleon as a "democratic leader."

"He gave his detectives latitude to investigate and offered assistance when needed," Au said. "One of the best things about him is his composure."

Napoleon, a former federal agent with Naval Investigative Services, joined HPD in 1964 with Chief Lee Donohue. He plans to remain active as an HPD reserve officer and is weighing several job offers.

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