Maui and Kauai police chiefs pursuing new careers

The police chiefs of Maui County and Kauai County both have a long history in law enforcement.  On Friday, both said they are pursuing new careers.

Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta is retiring to take another job while Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry is turning to politics.

MPD Chief of Police Gary Yabuta
Read more: Maui Chief of Police to retire for federal job in drug trafficking

For Yabuta, it’s a great new opportunity with a prestigious federally funded law enforcement position. He has been appointed Director of the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA).

“The office is in Honolulu and what he’ll be doing is basically with drug enforcement. The Chief has been a staunch supporter of eliminating the scourge of drugs in our community so I can see this as being a real tie in to what his core beliefs are,” Maui County Council Member Mike Victorino said.

Yabuta joined the Maui County Police Department in 1983 and was appointed Chief of Police in 2009.

“I think the Chief has done a great job through the years,” Victorino said.

Yabuta came under fire from the public in recent months after two women on Maui went missing.

“I understand there’s been challenges but every Chief of Police throughout the state, throughout the nation has challenges because they’re on the forefront, they’re the first faces we see good and bad,” Victorino said.

Yabuta plans to retire from MPD within the next two months. He told his commanders that “…their success as leaders, coupled with their creativity to fight our community’s crime threats, have made the Chief’s decision to retire an easier one.”

Chief of Police Darryl Perry
Read more: Kauai police chief to run for County Council

Meanwhile, over on the Garden Isle, Kauai County Police Chief Darryl Perry would like to try his hand at politics. He filed nomination papers to officially become a candidate for the Kauai County Council. 

It’s something he’s been thinking about doing for awhile. “I’m ready to be Darryl Perry and represent the people of Kauai,” said Perry.

Perry says he wants to make government more transparent.

“Oftentimes our council, and I understand the need to do that, but our council goes into executive session and the information that I believe should be shared with the public is not shared and decisions are being made behind closed doors,” Perry said.

Perry has been in law enforcement for almost 40 years, and has served as Kauai County’s top cop for the past six-and-a-half years.

“If I do get elected, I will have to retire, but until then I can continue to do my job,” Perry said.

SHOPO shared its vision for the next candidate for the job.

Tenari Maafala, President of SHOPO said: “We don’t really have an opinion and we don’t really have a say, but of course we would love to see someone who’s already in the department who has the experience and exposure and that we’ve already built a relationship with over the years.”

It’ll be up to the Maui Police Commission and the Kauai Police Commission to appoint the successors for their respective counties.

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