The Honolulu City Council gave preliminary approval to a resolution Wednesday that would change the way police commissioners are selected.

The action was unanimous.

The mayor currently appoints all seven commissioners, who are then confirmed by the council.

Councilman Ikaika Anderson, who introduced the measure, is proposing the council and mayor each appoint three commissioners. The seventh would be a retired police officer who held the rank of captain or higher, chosen by the other commissioners.

HPD Police Commission meeting held at HPD headquarters.
A City Council resolution would change how Honolulu Police Commission members are appointed. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Anderson told Civil Beat last week that the resolution stemmed from council members’ frustration with being kept in the dark when the Police Commission was deciding on a $250,000 payout to former Police Chief Louis Kealoha. Commission Chairman Max Sword refused to meet with the council to discuss the matter.

The resolution would amend the city’s charter, so it requires two more votes by the council and the mayor’s approval. If all that happens, the matter would go on next year’s general election ballot.

A measure to make similar changes to how Honolulu Fire Commission members are appointed also received preliminary approval from the council Wednesday.

About the Author