The Honolulu Police Commission, in a brief summary of Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard’s annual evaluation, offered no praise for the chief during 2020, and is requiring her to take actions for improvement.
After a tough year for HPD and Ballard performance-wise, Commission Chairwoman Shannon Alivado said during today’s commission meeting that Ballard “fell below expectations” in leadership and management, “which are crucial to leading the Honolulu Police Department,” and added, “The outcome of the evaluation has led to serious concerns.”
Today’s evaluation fell short of the general praise Ballard received during her first two reviews as HPD’s chief.
The commission found there to be “poor communication” within the department and that Ballard needs to take more responsibility for what happens. It wants “substantial improvement” in HPD’s “culture of blame.”
“When problems arise, Chief Ballard must take responsibility and avoid laying any blame at the feet of any of the command staff,” Alivado said.
It also wants to see HPD improve in its case closure statistics, management of overtime, internal communication and communication with the public and media.
To do this, the commission is requiring that Ballard to take action on a “performance improvement plan” within the next 60 days, when the commission will review her again.
Ballard, who could have opted to keep the evaluation confidential, decided like she did for her first two evaluations to make it public.
But she wasn’t even at the commission today to hear Alivado summarize the results.
Ballard was virtually present at the beginning of the commission meeting, which started at 2 p.m., but by about 4 p.m., right before her evaluation was supposed to start, Alivado noted that the chief wasn’t available because she had scheduled a “medical appointment.”