“I thought this would be a good tool to include an extra pair of eyes, so to speak, from individuals from outside the commission,” Sword said. “However, since making the announcement regarding the panel I and other commissioners have been inundated with positive and negative feedback from the public and endless suggestions on additional individuals who should be included on the panel.
“It is very obvious that no matter who we put on the citizens panel there will always be someone who feels left out.”
Sword said the reason he wanted to form a citizens advisory panel in the first place was because a similar process had been used in the past. The last time the commission selected a chief was in 2009 when it hired Louis Kealoha, who at the time was a captain with the Honolulu Police Department.
Kealoha retired earlier this year after he was named as the target in a U.S. Justice Department investigation into public corruption and abuse of power.
Shortly after Kealoha left the department Sword said he wanted the commissioners to form a committee made up of “regular people” to help analyze applicants.
Earlier this month, commissioners submitted the names of 13 people who they wanted to be considered for the selection panel. Those names were to be whittled down to five people who would then grade each of the 30 or so candidates who applied for the job.
When news broke that Chapman was one of the nominees it resulted in a fair share of ridicule on social media and other online forums, because of Chapman’s bombastic persona and her own run-ins with the law. Some were concerned that the commissioners also weren’t taking the process of hiring a new chief seriously.
There was also worry that other nominees from other commissioners were overly political or too detached from the communities that are being policed.