Hawaii County Police Chief Paul Ferreira made two historic promotions this week, with two female captains becoming majors, the Hawaii County police department announced today.
Capt. Sherry Bird and Capt. Aimee Wana were promoted on Tuesday.
It is the first time two female law enforcement officers have held an upper management rank at the same time within the department. It has also been 26 years since a woman has held the rank of major at HPD.
The first female officer in the department to achieve the rank of major was Cheryl Reis in 1991. She retired in 1994.
“In recent years the department has made strides to recruit a larger number of female officers, with women now accounting for 8.6% of sworn positions, (37 uniformed officers), up from 6.7 % (30 uniformed officers) in 2017.”
Of the 22 officers who graduated in February from the most recent recruit class, three or 13% were women.
Bird served as South Kohala District patrol captain prior to her appointment. She also held positions as Kona Criminal Investigation Division lieutenant, Kona vice and Criminal Intelligence Unit detective. She got her start as a patrol officer in North Kohala and Kona.
Wana previously served as captain in the administrative bureau and with South Kohala district patrol. She served as lieutenant and sergeant in the dispatch center, detective in the Kona Juvenile Aid Section and patrol office in South Hilo.