WAILUKU, Hawaii >> The Maui Police Commission received nearly 20 applications from those seeking to become the county’s next police chief.
The number of qualified applicants may change after reviews are done, said Commission Chairman Roger Dixon. There’s no deadline to select a replacement for Gary Yabuta, who retired July 31 to become director of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program in Hawaii.
“We are going to fill it carefully and in a studied manner,” Dixon said. “We want to make sure we are going to do it right.”
Deputy Chief Clayton Tom serves as acting chief and is one of the applicants for the job that comes with an annual salary of $135,000, the Maui News reported Monday. Other Police Department brass and retired officers also have applied.
The newspaper confirmed eight of those seeking the post, including Victor Ramos, an assistant chief; Larry Hudson, retired assistant chief; and Mary Wagner, business continuity plan manager for the Maui County Department of Management information technology services division.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Wagner said. “I believe I’m the best fit for the jo.”
Tom, who can retire with 32 years of service, said he still enjoys working.
“I think I still have a lot to offer,” he said.
Other applicants talked about wanting to rebuild the department’s trust with the public.
“I believe that in the past few years it seems as though, we, the Maui Police Department, have lost the public trust,” said Paul Winters, a retired captain who headed Internal Affairs.
Tivoli Faaumu, a captain and current commander of the Kihei patrol district, also put an emphasis on trying to repair ties.
“My idea is working the inside where the entire department has a relationship of trust,” Faaumu said.
The selection committee is expected to provide an update at a commission meeting Wednesday.