So apparently holding Maui Police Commission meetings at an easily accessible place like the University of Hawaii Maui College campus is popular with residents. According to this Jan. 22 Maui News story, 14 members of the public attended the Wednesday, Jan. 21 commission meeting.
Now I know 14 may not sound like a big number, but at least one commissioner said that it’s actually something to celebrate–especially given that the Police Commission is quite powerful. Remember, they’re the ones who appoint the police chief and investigate citizen complaints against Maui PD personnel. Having the public involved with the commission is vital to make sure the Maui Police Department is responsive to the public.
“There were more people there than I’ve seen the last 14 months,” Maui Police Commissioner Michael Wilson told me this morning by phone. Given that those wishing to attend past Maui Police Commission meetings at the Wailuku station had to provide identification and get an official escort through the station, this isn’t surprising.
Wilson, who’s been working for more than a year to get the meetings out of the intimidating Wailuku Police Station, added that though the Jan. 21 commission meeting agenda indicated that the next meeting would take place at the Kihei Police Station, the commissioners are trying to get it relocated to a spot on Lanai.
“Even the Kihei station has an aura of guns and authority,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to keep our base at the college because it’s so convenient.”
He added that it’s also possible the commission will meet somewhere on Molokai this year.
Click here for more information on the Police Commission.
Photo: Rob Young/Wikimedia Commons