National News

Hawaii's first female police chief sworn in

Posted November 2, 2017 2:10 p.m. EDT

— Hawaii's first female police chief was sworn in to the Honolulu Police Department Wednesday. Chief of Police Susan Ballard was officially named HPD's 11th chief.

"I just want to say thanks to everybody and I'm looking forward to working with everyone and moving forward and making sure that HPD is great again," Ballard said.

Great is a word few have associated with HPD in recent years...scandals and arrests have engulfed the rank and file and even toppled previous Chief Louis Kealoha.

Hundreds of Chief Ballard's brothers and sisters in blue packed a room on the fourth floor at HPD headquarters where the ceremony was held. Many expressed hope new leadership will bring a fresh beginning. Sergeant Barry Tong was in the same recruitment class with Ballard in 1985.

"She's no nonsense. She talks the truth all the time and I do believe that because she is now the chief of police she definitely has earned that spot amongst everybody and that's how she got the respect coming up from the ranks," Tong explained.

Ballard's 32 year climb in the ranks includes commanding both Kane'ohe and Kalihi Patrol districts and leading finance, training and central receiving divisions.

Chief Ballard's sister and niece flew in from Florida for Wednesday's ceremony.

"She wants to make things great again, so we're very proud of her and I think she will. She'll do everything she can. She's very to the point so you know where you stand with her, which is good," said Ballard's sister Lynn Friend.

Ballard was born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina. Her sister said a career in law enforcement wasn't always the plan.

"She was working at Burger King as a manager and a friend of hers told her to apply for the police department and it would be a great job and she did. She's taken it and really gone with it. She loves it, every minute of it she loves," Friend said.

Next on Chief Ballard's agenda is appointing two deputy chiefs.