Last week, Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta announced that he was ending his five-year reign as the department’s honcho to head to Oahu for what is apparently a crappier desk job running the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area office thing (click here for more on Yabuta’s exit). Anyway, the move seems to have caught the island off-guard, but the brave folks at the Maui Police Commission–who rarely miss a chance to tell the department that it’s doing a fine job–will take up the matter at their regular monthly hearing next week.
The agenda for the May 28 Police Commission meeting states that after dealing with the opening remarks, public testimony, approval of the previous meeting’s minutes, the chief’s report, some budget stuff, “old business” and so forth, the panel will get down to the business of the “Determination of Process for the Police Chief Selection.” Sound exciting? How about their follow-up discussion on “recruitment posting,” job application deadlines, interview questions and the “Number of Applicants to be Interviewed/Final List?”
After that, (assuming they have time), the commission will create a “selection committee”–the very thought of which makes me giddy.
Look, let me cut to the chase: given the Maui Police Commission’s past support for all things Yabuta, it’s all but certain that the next chief’s policies and principles–the general militarization of the department, criminalization of photography of cops on duty, etc.–will be very similar to the last chief’s.
Still, the commission will meet in the Community Room at the new Kihei Police Station, so there’s that!
MAUI POLICE COMMISSION
Meets at 9am on Wednesday, May 28
Kihei Police Station
(Disclosure: MauiTime Owner/Publisher Tommy Russo is currently suing the County of Maui over an alleged assault by a Maui police officer.)
Photo of Chief Gary Yabuta: County of Maui