Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan outlined priorities that include increasing public trust and recruitment efforts Friday during his first press conference since officially taking office earlier this week.
Logan characterized the swearing-in on Tuesday as a formality, saying it was “a spur-of-the moment kind of thing that we had to do to get me started with the city.”
He noted a more formal ceremony that will be open to the media will be held on June 29.
He also distanced himself from his son’s arrest, saying his son hasn’t lived with him in more than 20 years and they are not currently in contact. Zane Logan was arrested on May 24 and charged with misdemeanor assault after he allegedly attacked a man with a hooked metal hand tool at Ala Moana Beach Park.
“As far as my son and his actions, I commend the police department for doing everything they have done so far. They treated him like anyone else,” Logan said.
Logan added that he had been working on a volunteer basis in the lead-up to Tuesday’s swearing in to build relationships and trust within the department, which he said he hopes to accomplish as soon as possible.
“I want to get out to every watch, to every district, to all the divisions and meet all the officers,” Logan said. “I’ve been told it’s going to take six months to a year to meet everyone because the department is large and covers the whole island. So I hope that doesn’t take long.”
Meanwhile, Logan said that another one of his immediate priorities will be increasing the number of officers to alleviate staffing and patrol shortages. HPD, which has more than 300 officer vacancies, welcomed a new class of 33 recruits who graduated Tuesday night.
Logan said that he and his command staff are discussing how to entice police officers from the mainland to join the department and that he also plans to ramp up HPD’s recruiting efforts after they were stifled by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Now with the restrictions being lifted, our recruiters are actually getting out in the field, getting to high schools, military installations, college campuses to look for those recruits that want to join the Honolulu Police Department,” Logan said. “The other part is a marketing campaign with social media or television commercials to add to our ability to reach the mass population.”
In addition to addressing issues related to staffing concerns, Logan also responded to questions about two top state police union officials, SHOPO President Robert Cavaco and Vice President Stephen Keogh, who were recently placed on restricted duty after they were named in a lawsuit that accuses them of extortion.
The accusations were included in a lawsuit filed last month by ousted union official David Hallums who claimed he was blackmailed and falsely accused of stealing union travel funds by Keogh and Cavaco.
The lawsuit, which alleges Cavaco and Keogh committed a crime, triggered an internal investigation into the claims and HPD policy calls for officers to be placed on restrictive duty while they are investigated.
“We as a department have policies and procedures on how we handle these types of incidents and so we’ve taken the action we took,” Logan said.
“I think any public official has to be accountable to the community they serve,” Logan said, adding that the indictment has no impact on the Honolulu Police Department. “We’ll continue to do our job and serve the community.”
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