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Maui Police Commission Higher Standards for Next Chief

June 3, 2014
Maui Weekly

In its search for a new Maui County police chief, the Maui Police Commission is setting requirements that are tougher than those set out for the job in the Maui County Charter.

"We're raising the bar," Chairman Roger Dixon said, as the commission voted on minimum requirements for applicants May 28. The vote was held during its meeting at the Kihei Police Station.

The commission also opened the door to out-of-state applicants, with a requirement that the new chief be a resident of the state within 60 days of being appointed to the post. A proposal to make the job a 5 year contract position with regular review as also discussed.

The opening is being advertised in local, state and national popular and law enforcement media

Current MPD Chief Gary Yabuta expects to retire in July to take a job as director of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program in Hawai'I. This position is based in Honolulu.

Yabuta, a 31-year MPD veteran, began his career in 1983 as an undercover officer and was appointed chief in 2009. Yabuta's deputy chief is Clayton Tom. He is considered by many a front runner for the post.

At the meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to require that applicants have at least a college bachelor's degree or be a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Yabuta said a number of current MPD officers have graduated from the intense 11-week leadership program.

The charter requires that the police chief have at least five years of law enforcement experience, including three years at the administrative level. The commission upped the criteria when it voted to require at least 15 years' experience in law enforcement. At least five of those years must be at the administrative level.

The job pays $135,000 a year. The commission hasn't set dates for accepting applications or interviewing candidates.

Deputy commission chair Kelly Ruidas will head the search committee.



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