HPD welcomes first officers under new leadership, though vacancies remain

There’s a new class of police recruits Wednesday night. The first to graduate under new leadership.

The 17 new recruits were sworn in after nearly 1,000 people took the test to become police officers.

The department says there’s still a need for more men and women in blue.

There’s still more vacancies still need to be filled.

With their badges pinned on by loved ones on Wednesday night and the swearing in ceremony complete.

Acting chief Carey Okimoto took the podium to wish the new officers good luck in their new career telling them to always stay safe.

Acting Deputy Chief William Axt says HPD has 180 vacancies that need to be filled. “We are always doing continuous recruiting and trying to get more applicants to want to take on the challenge of becoming an HPD officer.”

Even though Wednesday night’s graduates are now able to hit the streets, there are 68 officers still going through the HPD training process.

Three recruiting classes are set to begin this year in May, August, and December.

Axt was asked if the number of incoming recruits will fill the department’s needs. “We have about 68 to 75 officers that retire every year so given the rate of officers that are coming in each year we’re pretty much staying at status quo. I don’t think we’ll ever get caught up to those numbers of actually filling all the vacancies.”

Axt says the total number of vacancies is similar to past years, saying HPD is always looking for qualified recruits. “First and foremost we want officers with the highest level of integrity and moral standards. We need people who are community oriented. They need to be service oriented. So basically they want to be the type of person that wants to go out and help people without expecting a reward.”

HPD is also still in the process of looking for a new chief.

To find out more about joining the Honolulu Police Department, log onto http://www.joinhonolulupd.org/

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