Last week, the Honolulu Police Commission announced the four finalists in contention to be Honolulu’s 12th police chief as the nearly year-long search to fill the position nears its conclusion.

The candidates were previously unknown to the commission, who contracted consulting firm PSI Services to lead the search up until last Thursday’s announcement, and include a mix of two veteran HPD officers, a former HPD officer who has since moved on to work with other government agencies and a former high-ranking member of a mainland police force.

The four finalists — Scott Ebner, Mike Lambert, Joe Logan and Ben Moszkowicz — are set to answer questions from the public during a televised forum Thursday on PBS Hawaii, marking the first time the community will hear from the men still in the running to lead the city’s police force of nearly 2,000 officers.

Little information has thus far been publicly released about the finalists, but Civil Beat has reviewed information submitted to the police commission by the four candidates, which represent a diverse array of law enforcement experience and more than 90 years of combined police service.

It will now be up to the commissioners to evaluate and ultimately select the city’s newest police chief, which will include appraisals of the candidates’ leadership skills, ability to make informed decisions, integrity and confidence.

The finalists could not be reached for comment.

The police commission provided disclosures submitted to the commission by the candidates.

Scott Ebner

Ebner retired as a lieutenant colonel with the New Jersey State Police in March 2022 after three decades of law enforcement experience.

He began his career as a police officer in 1991 with the Cape Coral Police Department in Florida, where he was assigned to patrol operations and worked as a hostage negotiator, field training officer, traffic homicide investigator and undercover officer.

Scott Ebner
Scott Ebner retired as a lieutenant colonel with the New Jersey State Police. Honolulu Police Commission

Ebner left the Cape Coral Police Department in 1995 to join the New Jersey State Police as a uniformed patrol officer.

He moved up the ranks to become a detective and was assigned to the state police’s Internal Affairs and Criminal Investigations Office.

Throughout his time with the New Jersey State Police, Ebner worked in numerous leadership positions as a Major and Troop Commander of Operations for the central portion of the state. He also served as a commander in the state police’s Office of Professional Standards, which administers the department’s disciplinary procedure.

As a lieutenant colonel, Ebner worked positions that included the department’s chief of staff, deputy superintendent of investigations, and director of the State of New Jersey Fusion Center, which is responsible for maintaining situational awareness for responses to security issues in the state.

Ebner, who lives with his family in Ocean County, New Jersey, attended Seton Hall University where he obtained a master’s degree in Human Resources Management, Training and Development as well as a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

Earlier this year, Ebner was in the running to be the chief of the Santa Fe, New Mexico Police Department but lost out to another candidate.

Joe Logan

Logan is a retired major general with the military who is currently working as a criminal investigator with the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General’s Office. He also works part-time as an adjunct professor and senior director of military affairs at Hawaii Pacific University.

Logan was the state’s adjutant general, the director of the state Department of Defense and homeland security advisor to the governor. He also was the head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency in 2018 when the agency mistakenly sent out a false alert that a missile was about to strike Hawaii.

Joe Logan
Joe Logan has 41 years of military experience and spent over two decades with HPD. Honolulu Police Commission

His 41-year military career included his May 2007 deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was responsible for training Afghan police forces. Throughout his time with the military, Logan has been given numerous awards including the Distinguished Medal, Bronze Star and Humanitarian award.

Logan also worked as a police officer in Honolulu from 1982 until 2002 and was assigned as a patrol officer, narcotics and vice officer and solo motorcycle officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 1996 and worked as a detective on the robbery detail for the department’s Criminal Investigation Division. While with the HPD, Logan received a Bronze Medal for Merit after intervening in a suicide attempt.

Logan holds a bachelor’s degree in Justice Administration and Management from Hawaii Pacific University, as well as a master’s degree from the United States Army War College.

Benjamin Moszkowicz

Moszkowicz is a major with the Honolulu Police Department and is currently attending the FBI National Academy, a 10-week executive leadership training program in Quantico, Virginia, that began in April.

Before the FBI training program began, the 21-year HPD veteran was the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division where he led a team that focused on violent crime and felony property crime, according to his disclosure to the commission. It was unclear whether he would be returning to that job or another position; HPD has referred questions related to the search to the commission.

Ben Moszkowicz
Benjamin Moszkowicz served as the commander of HPD’s Criminal Investigation Division. Honolulu Police Commission

Moszkowicz has notably worked in every bureau within the department including the Human Resources Division, Information Technology Division and the Traffic Division. He has also worked as a patrol watch commander, supervisor with the Vehicle Homicide Section and oversaw HPD’s Police Mountain Bike Team, which includes 60 officers.

Before becoming a major with the department, Moskowicz was assigned to patrol, investigative and administrative roles as a sergeant.

During his time at the department, Moskowicz has received multiple awards including the inaugural Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hawaii Lifetime Achievement Award for his work addressing impaired driving. He also was given the department’s highest merit-based award, the Bronze Medal of Merit, and was named the Police Officer of the Year and Sergeant of the Year in 2011.

For nearly a decade, Moskowicz has served as the Director of the Hawaii Law Enforcement Torch Run, a fund-raising organization for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Justice Administration from the University of
Hawaii, West Oahu and a Master of Science Degree in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego.

Mike Lambert

Lambert is also a major with the Honolulu Police Department and currently serves as the head of the Training Division.

During his time with the department, Lambert has worked patrol in multiple districts, as well as with the Central Receiving Division, Narcotics and Vice Division and Community Outreach Division.

Mike Lambert
Mike Lambert is a major with HPD and is the head of the training division. Honolulu Police Commission

He has also provided investigative assistance and training to federal, state, and local agencies.

Lambert has received multiple awards including the Detective of the Year in 2016. He was named in the International Association of Chiefs of Police 40 under 40 list in 2018, which recognizes police leaders under the age of 40.

The list cited Lambert’s involvement in developing the Health Efficiency Long-Term Partnership program, which combines social services with law enforcement to address homelessness.

Lambert holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration on justice from the University of Hawaii West Oahu.

What Lies Ahead For The Next Chief

Honolulu Police Commission members have previously said that they expect to name the police department’s next chief by the beginning of June, after the public has two chances to provide public testimony on the decision on Thursday and on Monday.

Once the new chief is named, he will take over a department that has been experiencing staffing shortages of more than 300 officers, jobs the department hopes to fill by next summer.

These staffing issues, coupled with a spike in crime, are among the issues the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers hopes the next chief of police will address.

“Our next Honolulu Police Department Chief must have the skillset and initiative to take immediate steps to solve our officer-retention problem that is hampering HPD’s ability to reduce crime and keep our neighborhoods safe,” SHOPO President Robert Cavaco said in a statement to Civil Beat. “The next Chief needs to be a leader who will listen to the rank-and-file about the many challenges our department must confront including low morale, outdated uniforms and equipment, and patrol staffing issues.”

“Our future Chief should also be someone willing to honestly and openly speak out to elected and appointed officials about what the Department needs in order to effectively keep our community safe,” Cavaco added.

The department is also dealing with damaged public trust following the high-profile fatal shootings last year including Iremamber Sykap, 16, and Lindani Myeni, 29, as well as the fallout from the conviction of former police chief Louis Kealoha, who was sentenced to seven years in federal prison on corruption charges.

According to the latest National Community Survey, less than half of survey takers on Oahu responded that they viewed the police positively, a number that has fallen from 74% in 2006 to 47% in 2021. Some say that’s not just related to highly publicized police shootings and officer-involved lawsuits, but also departmental practices including homeless sweeps and racial disparities in use-of-force.

Earlier this year, members of HPD committed to maintaining a continued dialogue with the Micronesian community at an event HPD Interim Chief Rade Vanic attended.

Lesley Harvey, a member of the informal police commission watchdog group HPC Task Force, said in an interview that the department’s next leader needs integrity and diverse perspectives to mend its relationship with the community.

“The HPD needs to realize that the issue is not the public perception, but the culture that HPD is engaging in,” Harvey said. “That’s what needs to change.”

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