Maui Chief of Police to retire for federal job in drug trafficking

MPD Chief of Police Gary Yabuta

The Chief of Police at the Maui Police Dept. is retiring. Gary Yabuta notified the department of his upcoming departure Friday.

According to a news release, Yabuta will leave within the next two months for a position as a director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) for Hawaii.

Maui County Council member Mike Victorino said the move is a good fit for Yabuta.

“The chief has been a staunch supporter of eliminating drugs in our community and I can see this being a tie in to what his core beliefs are,” he said.

Yabuta told his command staff that their success as leaders, coupled with their creativity to fight the community’s crime threats made his decision to retire an easy one, the department said.

Yabuta is a 31-year veteran of the department and has served as chief since 2009.

There’s no word yet on who will succeed him.

The Maui Police Commission released the following statement Monday, congratulating Yabuta on his new position and addressing the search for his replacement:

The Commission is proud that the Chief of Police of Maui County will represent the State of Hawaii in this important initiative. Chief Yabuta’s 31 years of service has left a significant impact on many in our community. His leadership and hard work will be missed.

The Maui Police Commission has the distinct honor of appointing the next Chief of Police. We are moving forward in fulfilling our responsibility. The Commission will use all available resources to identify and review quality candidates for this essential position. Our commitment is to remain transparent regarding our search and selection process as we continue to build public trust in policing and encourage strong partnerships with the community.

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