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Maui Police 25% short staffed: 21 resignations, 13 retirements in 2021

Maui Police Department Staffing Report for January 2022. (As of Dec. 31, 2021).

The Maui Police Department is more than 25% short staffed with 145 vacancies department wide. According to department reports, there are 101 sworn vacancies, which is at 75% staffing; and 44 civilian vacancies for 70% staffing in that portion of the department.

Out of the 400 authorized sworn positions, there were just under 300 employed as of Dec. 31, 2022, according to department reports.

Attrition rates included the resignation of 21 sworn personnel and 13 retirements in 2021, according to Melissa Magonigle, business administrator with the MPD Administrative Services Bureau.

She reviewed the department’s financial report of budget and expenditures during the Maui Police Commission’s Jan. 19 regular meeting, saying that while the department had double digit resignations and retirements, there were 11 individuals hired over the same period.

Retirements included:

  • Chief Tivoli Faaumu: Retired May 1 with over 35 years of service.
  • Lt. Jamie Winfrey: Retired Sept. 1, with over 26 years.
  • Officer Asbel Polanco: Retired July 1 with over 25 years of service.
  • Sgt. Russell Kapahulehua: Retired July 1 with over 25 years of service.
  • Officer Marjorie Kahoʻokele: 25 years of service.

The remaining eight all retired in December including:

  • Deputy Chief Dean Rickard: 34 years of service.
  • Assistant Chief Victor Ramos: 33 years of service.
  • Assistant Chief John Jakubscak: 34 years of service.
  • Lt. Jonathan Acosta: 25 years of service.
  • Lt. Derek Delos Santos: 26 years of service.
  • Lt. Kenneth Doyle: 25 years of service.
  • Detective Mark Hada: 25 years of service.
  • Lt. Jerald Perkett: 25 years of service.

Both Ramos and Jakubscak were finalists for the Chief position. Rickard was Deputy Chief under the former administration and served as Acting Chief until Pelletier was sworn in last month.

The combined years of service from officers who retired totals 363 years to the Maui Police Department and the County of Maui, Magonigle noted.

According to department officials, two officers started on Tuesday, an another officer is due to start on Jan. 26, 2022. The 92nd recruit class will also begin on Feb. 1, with 10 police officers.

“We also have various officers sworn in various states of the hiring process,” said Magonigle, noting that as of Dec. 31, there were 27 Emergency Services Dispatcher vacancies, for a 44% staffing rate. This does not include the one new ESD that started on Jan. 3, or the other new hires that started after the start of the new year, including four that are now in the polygraph stage of the hiring process.

Commissioners discussed retention pay and potentially changing the title and category of employment for dispatchers to better reflect their duties and responsibilities.

Maui Police Chief John Pelletier, who was sworn in on Dec. 15, noted that some staffing changes were made since his arrival.

In regard to staffing shortages, Chief Pelletier said, “We all know weʻre down 25%… so we’ve got to be very efficient in what we’re going to do. And we just can’t rely on somebody’s hunch or whim… we need to actually have the ability to use intelligence led policing to make some of those decisions.”

“You have to have empirical data, intelligence led policing, statistics–whatever you want to call it–to say where are our problem places, where are our people. How are we putting folks where they need to go. Where are we going to get the most bang for the buck, or where can we move some different things,” he said during Wednesdayʻs commission meeting.

“I would not get tired of talking about the incredible men and women of MPD… and the folks that put this together,” said Chief Pelletier in reference to a newly compiled Crime Statistics 2021 document.

“It’s the benchmark and measure of where we are,” he said. “From 2021-2020 we had a 5% reduction in violent crime. That’s huge… We are up though in property crime, that we could probably feel and hear those reports, up 3%. But the total number of listed incidents were down 4%.”

According to Chief Pelletier, commanders will be coming together next Friday to participate in a building out accountability meeting called C4, which stands for Combatting Crime Connecting Community.

“The meat and potatoes if you will is: what are we doing to fight crime, and what are we doing to connect with the community,” said Pelletier.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2022/01/20/maui-police-25-short-staffed-21-resignations-13-retirements-in-2021/

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