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Maui police looking to fill nearly 30 civilian job positions

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 7:25 p.m. HST, Feb 20, 2014

WAILUKU » The Maui Police Department needs to fill more than two dozen civilian positions, mostly for radio dispatchers.

It's the largest vacancy the department has seen in about six years, police officials said.

Of the 29 civilian vacancies, 15 are for radio dispatchers, the Maui News reported.

MPD Business Administrator Greg Takahashi said it's difficult to find and retain dispatchers. The job requires six months of training.

"We have at least 40 applicants, though, so the interest is good," he said, but added some later find out that the job isn't for them. One dispatcher resigned earlier this month. A group of dispatchers are beginning their training in the coming months and three applicants are being interviewed next week, officials said.

"We're kind of hurting," Takahashi told the police commission Wednesday. The department has lost nearly 6 percent of its employees recently because of retirement and other circumstances, he said.

The commission meeting also included updates in other areas, including the uniformed police ranks. Ten officers were added from a recruit class in November and about 20 recruits now undergoing training are expected to graduate in May, officials said.

Takahashi provided a presentation on the department's 2014 budget, which includes more than $1 million to purchase 26 police vehicles and about $60,000 for 10 mobile traffic cameras.

The department is reviewing bids for the vehicles: 15 marked police cars, six unmarked cars, three marked police sport utility vehicles and two unmarked SUVs, Takahashi said.

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