comscore Former Honolulu Police Chief Francis Keala dies at 86 | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Former Honolulu Police Chief Francis Keala dies at 86

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2000

    Judge Chang shakes hands with Francis Keala.

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2000

    Francis Keala, former police chief

Former Honolulu police Chief Francis Keala died Saturday morning at the age of 86.

Keala, who served as chief from 1969 to 1983, had been ill for a while, said son, Mark Keala.

“We’re doing fine,” Mark Keala said. “He passed away quickly.”

Keala, who was sworn in at the age of 39, was credited for fighting organized crime and used innovative tactics to combat other common crimes, such as a marijuana eradication program called “Operation Green Harvest,” a school truancy program and an undercover sting enterprise known as “Operation Hukilau.”

A graduate of Saint Louis High School and the University of Hawaii, Keala was the first person with a college education promoted to the helm of the department.

He was also known for expanding internal affairs to include annual inspections, as well as developing a recruitment drive and creating a community relations division to encourage the public to help combat crime.

Keala retired in 1983 after nearly 30 years with the department.

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