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Honolulu police chief gets negative commission review

April 9, 2021 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu Police Commission has given Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard negative reviews in a performance assessment.

The commission gave Ballard on Wednesday a mark of “below expectations” in the categories of “management of administration” and leadership, Hawaii News Now reported.

“The outcome of the evaluation has raised serious concerns,” said Police Commission Chair Shannon Alivado in a statement. “We can appreciate that during a full year there were strategies to achieve certain results but it appears the implementation and execution were flawed.”

The commission compiled a plan that Ballard must take action on within 60 days, when her next evaluation will be conducted.

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The police department has been ensnared in scandals in recent months, including one in which at least 10 officers improperly logged 200 or more hours of overtime pay over a five-week period and another when an internal memo was circulated among officers that set a weekly minimum of five moving citations, five parking citations and two DUI stops.

Ballard said in a statement that she was disappointed with the review and did not think that it “reflects the view of the general public” or “most officers and professional staff.”

“While I am disappointed, I always say that there is room for improvement and will assess what is the best way to move forward,” Ballard said. “As Chief, I am ultimately responsible for the department and will continue to hold the command staff and officers accountable for their actions even when it’s unpopular.”

The commission said one area of concern is what it described as poor communication within the department.

The commission also said Ballard should work more closely with her command staff when problems arise, improve reporting of crime statistics and conduct better communication efforts with the media and public, the outlet reported.

“There’s a lot that needs to change in a short amount of time,” said Ken Lawson, criminal law and evidence instructor at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law. “But the list is something that is common in most police departments. Really what they’re saying is, just do your job, and you should be able to do your job in 60 days.”