Hawaii PD preps for 20-plus vacancies

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — Officials are expecting more than 20 vacancies with the Hawaii Police Department by year’s end due to retiring officers.

Officials addressed the Hawaii County Police Commission on Friday, saying that in the next month there would be close to 20 retirees, including eight ranking officers, West Hawaii Today reported .

Officials in September said more than 55 officers had enough time on the force where they could retire.

Assistant Chief Marshall Kanehailua said the number of retirements is unusual and the department will have to recover from them.

Kanehailua attributed the retirements to large recruitment classes 25 years.

Maj. Samuel Thomas projected there will be 21-23 vacancies near the end of 2017.

“We’ve seen this cycle happen many a time,” said Thomas, who has been with the department for 35 years. “When the economy is real poor, then we’ll get a lot of applicants. . . . At one point we had 100 vacancies for sworn officers. We only caught up when the economy went bad.”