Former Family Court Judge Michael Broderick and former Lt. Gov. Doug Chin are officially members of the Honolulu Police Commission after the City Council unanimously voted to confirm them on Wednesday.

“Both appointees withstood rigorous questioning by the committee on public safety,” said Councilman Tommy Waters, who chairs the committee. “Their answers were forthright, honest and direct, which I appreciated very much.”

Attorneys Michael Broderick and Doug Chin are joining the commission at a time of heightened scrutiny of police officers. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

The commission has the power to hire and fire the chief, investigate complaints, review the budget and annual report, and review policy.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he appointed both commissioners keeping in mind the police reforms demanded by people worldwide who have protested brutality and racism. Both Broderick and Chin said they want to bring more accountability and transparency to the Honolulu Police Department.

In addition to experience as a judge, Broderick was also the director of the Hawaii State Judiciary and the Judiciary’s Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is currently the president and CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu. However, he plans to step down by the end of the year to “open his own business offering services in mediation, arbitration, facilitation, neutral fact finding and executive coaching,” the nonprofit said in a news release on Thursday.

“Michael Broderick truly comes to the Police Commission with a great deal of experience,” Waters said.

Before serving as the lieutenant governor in 2018, Chin was the state’s attorney general from 2015 to 2018. Prior to that, he worked as Honolulu’s managing director under Mayor Peter Carlisle and as a prosecutor for nearly 15 years. More recently, he worked as a partner at the law firm Carlsmith Ball.

Chin’s nomination created some pushback from activists who pointed to his past anti-gay views, for which he has apologized, and his work lobbying for private prisons.

“There was some written testimony in opposition, however, through rigorous questions from the committee that lasted almost an hour, I believe he addressed all of those concerns,” Waters said. “I’m satisfied that he will carefully and fairly conduct his duty as a commissioner to the best of his ability.”

Broderick replaces Karen Chang, who resigned from the commission as her husband Rick Blangiardi prepared to run for mayor. Chin is filling the seat of Loretta Sheehan, who stepped down in frustration with the commission’s lack of power to affect change. The seat of Steve Levinson, who resigned alongside Sheehan, is still vacant.

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