Who will pay for the police Chief's severance? That was the quarter million dollar question at the Honolulu Police Commission meeting.

     As part of a settlement deal reached last month, Chief Louis Kealoha will retire with a compensation check for $250,000. 
     The police commission put requirements the exiting Chief not be convicted of a felony from an on-going federal investigation, and the money would come out of the Honolulu Police Department budget for salaries.
     The Acting Police Chief Cary Okimoto said he didn't oppose the settlement, but felt taking the money from the HPD budget would be detrimental to public safety, "Our budget is really tight and we can't afford to pay severance or any package like that. It is already spoken for for salaries and equipment."

"We are already projecting a shortfall. Do we stop testing some rape test kits? Stop buying tasers, or body cameras? We don't know what that will be once we get to it," added Acting Deputy Chief William Axt. 

After a brief discussion over who should pay for Chief Kealoha's departure, the Commission Chairman Max Sword cut the talk short.
 
"We, as the commission, are responsible for the Chief and hence the direction we moved in, coming to a settlement. I respect the Chief, but we are going to move on," stated Sword.

Instead of focusing on the outgoing Chief, commissioners discussed the search for the next incoming Chief.

To head the Honolulu Police Department applicants must have a minimum of 5 years of leadership experience, a bachelor's degree, law enforcement training, and a year of residency. 

But the next chief will also have to pass a battery of tests, from a written exam to an all day assessment to see how a candidate responds to emergencies.

 Past commissions have hired a consultant to help with the exams and requirements. Members debated whether to have a selection committee elected from the public to also help narrow down the number of qualified candidates.

"I think the community should be involved in this in some point. Especially as we need to rebuild trust, we have to be open," said member Luella Costales.

Board members did not make a decision, but did get the ball rolling. They voted to allow the posting of the police chief position. 
The entire application process from written tests, psychological exam and assessment until the new Chief of Police is sworn in is expected to take 6 months.