National News

Overwhelming and emotional testimony to support retired major for HPD Chief

Posted October 5

— Overwhelming support for one of seven finalists up for the job of Honolulu Police Chief at the police commission meeting Wednesday afternoon. One woman became emotional when she had to explain why she supports Retired HPD Major Kurt Kendro.

"Major Kurt Kendro has been the only one who's consistently shown genuine love, concern, and support for our family and has continued to do so after his retirement," said Noelani Crail-Maluai, a cousin of fallen HPD officer Capt. Neville Colburn.

Crail-Maluai was in tears as she testified before the Honolulu Police.

"He firmly believes that changes need to be made to maintain close relationships and improve communication with families of fallen officers," said Crail-Maluai.

Crail-Maluai is just one of many people who testified in support of Kendro.

"I have great respect for him, because he is very honest, he is very transparent, and he does care for the community, a lot," said Marjorie Morgan, a retired HPD personnel assistant who also supports Kendro.

"He's made a tremendous impact on all of us and all of the people in the law enforcement community for the torch run," said Nancy Botelo, President and CEO of Special Olympics, as she testified in support of Kendro.

Aside from those who testified in person, 59 letters were submitted to support Kendro for police chief. Trailing Kendro with 5 letters of support is Thomas Aiu, a former federal agent.

"All the years I've known Tom, he's always exhibited the highest levels of character," said Gary Dworshak, a longtime friend of Aiu, during his testimony.

Right behind Aiu, with 4 letters of support is the only female candidate-- Major Susan Ballard.

"I believe Major Ballard is just outstanding she's an awesome candidate and I really hope she can lead our department," said Lisa Marie Like, an HPD officer, who works for Ballard.

Retired HPD Assistant Chief Kevin Lima also had 4 letters of support.

"I've learned a lot about crime fighting from Kevin," said Howard Zersman, a former North Shore Neighborhood Board Member, who supports Lima.

Max Sword, Chairman of the Honolulu Police Commission said public testimony gives commissioners a good read on character, but there's still another step all finalists must go through.

"October 23rd, 24th, and 25th, those will be the final interviews, and after the 25th we'll deliberate and come up with the next police chief of the City and County of Honolulu," said Sword.

Sword said he hopes the commission will name a police chief by October 31st.

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