Just two days after a poor annual review, Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard announced today that she will retire from the department on June 1.
On a video message posted online, Ballard said that she can no longer effectively run the department.
On Wednesday the commission released an annual performance evaluation that had Ballard not meeting expectations in several key areas.
“The Honolulu Police Commission has been taking a more active role in running the department, and it has become increasingly clear that I no longer have the trust and support of the police commission or the new mayoral administration,” Ballard said in today’s video announcement. “This, along with a rampant rumor campaign, has made it next to impossible for me to lead the department effectively.”
Ballard did not give any details on the “rumor campaign.”
She was given a five-year term as chief in late 2017, and which meant she was scheduled to serve as HPD’s chief until late 2022.
“For the past 36 years, it has been my privilege to serve alongside the outstanding women and men who are the heart and soul of HPD,” she said at the end of today’s announcement. “Mahalo to the community for its continued support of the Honolulu Police Department in a time when police departments are faced with increasing challenges. HPD is truly fortunate to serve and protect a community that cares for its officers as much as we care for you.”
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, in brief press conference this afternoon, said he was “disappointed” about Ballard’s announcement but wanted to focus on the future of HPD.
“Chief Ballard will be retiring effective June 1, which gives us some time now to work on what we’re going to do to replace her. And my plan is to meet with the police commission as soon as possible to discuss what it is we need,” he said. “They just conducted a very extensive and diligent evaluation of her performance … and so I believe they’ve learned a lot about what would be best for us going forward.”
This breaking news story will be updated as new information becomes available.