Hawaii has a new sheriff in town. The Department of Public Safety announced its appointment Thursday of Renee Sonobe Hong to head the state Sheriff Division.

Renee Sonobe Hong was appointed administrator of the State Sheriff Division.
Renee Sonobe Hong Department of Public Safety

“Her experience in criminal prosecution will be an invaluable asset in widening and professionalizing the scope of law enforcement actions routinely performed by our deputy sheriffs statewide,” Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda said in a release. “She will provide effective leadership, accountability, and she will ensure that the division operates efficiently.”

Sonobe Hong previously served as a deputy attorney general for Public Safety, Hawaiian Home Lands and the Housing Division of the Attorney General’s Office. She worked for the city before that as first deputy for the Honolulu Department of the Corporation Counsel and 20 years with the prosecutor’s office.

“One of the top priorities of our Sheriff Division is to become (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) certified,” said Shawn Tsuha, deputy director for Law Enforcement, in the release. “CALEA is a top accreditation authority and is the primary method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate its commitment to excellence in law enforcement.”

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