Four individuals are in the running for the job of Big Island police chief.

Big Island locator map

The applicants are Paul Applegate, Sherry Bird, Edward Ignacio and Benjamin Moszkowicz.

The position became open after Paul Ferreira retired as chief in August after four decades with the department.

In his application, Applegate said he currently serves as a captain in the Kauai Police Department’s Investigative Services Bureau. He’s held various positions in that department since 2000, rising in the ranks from patrol officer. A veteran with the U.S. Army Reserve, Applegate started his law enforcement career on the Big Island as a police officer in June 1999.

Stock photo of Hawaii County Chief of Police Paul Ferreira. Photo: Tim Wright
Hawaii County Police Chief Paul Ferreira stepped down in August. Tim Wright/Civil Beat/2021

Bird works for the Hawaii Police Department as a major, providing direct supervision for seven staff and general supervision for 237 sworn and non-sworn employees in Area 11 which includes Kona, Kau, and North and South Kohala, according to her application. Bird started with the department in 1993 as a new recruit and went on to hold positions including detective, lieutenant and captain.

Ignacio retired from the FBI in December 2021. His application says he was senior resident agent from January 2000 until his retirement. Among other responsibilities, he supervised the FBI Honolulu Division’s SWAT team. Ignacio also oversaw a specialized task force of state and federal agencies responsible for gathering intelligence and conducting investigations on international and domestic terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and hazardous material in the Pacific.

Moszkowicz currently works as a police major in the Honolulu Police Department, a position he has held since January 2019, according to his application. He supervises 146 employees. Moszkowicz has moved up the ranks of the Honolulu Police Department since joining in August 2000 as a police officer.

A fifth, unnamed finalist withdrew their application for undisclosed reasons.

The Hawaii Police Commission will hold two public meetings next week as part of the selection process. Finalists will be interviewed in open session at the commission’s special meeting at 9 a.m. on Monday at the County Council chambers in Hilo and at the same time the following day at West Hawaii Civic Center in Kona.

The public will have an opportunity to offer five minutes of testimony per person.

Anyone wishing to testify orally must sign up by noon on Friday or submit it in writing by that time. More information is available by contacting the commission’s secretary by email at Charisse.Correa@hawaiicounty.og or by calling (808) 932-2950.

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