Las Vegas Police Captain John Pelletier, who said a top priority would be “Establish trust and transparency”, was selected Tuesday as the last candidate for Maui’s police chief.
The nine-member Maui Police Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to move Pelletier off the list of five finalists for the department’s leadership position of 416 employees.
His selection is subject to pre-employment requirements, including drug testing and drug testing, a psychological assessment and a credit report, as well as final approval by the commission next month.
“I am touched and honored to have had this incredible opportunity, and I understand what the selection means” Pelletier, 49, said by phone afterwards. “I have the utmost respect for the other competitors and I was honored to have participated in the selection process with them.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to build bridges within the community and build trust and transparency both internally and externally. “
In an online commission meeting of around an hour on Tuesday morning, Commissioner Janet Kuwahara named Pelletier as the final candidate, stating “One candidate really exemplified what we are looking for in our next chef.
She said residents of the county have “Expressed the need for change”.
“I think the feeling is also within the police department”, Kuwahara said. “I have received many calls from sworn and non-sworn employees who have expressed this.”
Commissioner Stacey Moniz, who seconded the motion, said she was a little hesitant at first to hire a candidate from off the island.
During the interviews of the finalists including Pelletier last week, “I had the impression that his answers were very relevant”, Moniz said.
“He had done his homework. He was prepared ”, Moniz said, adding that “He had contacted key people in our community”, including the Hawaii State Police Officers Organization Union.
“He spoke a lot about transparency, creative ideas to engage the community”, Moniz said. “These are all things that really spoke very loudly to me. “
She noted that Pelletier “Continent style” it’s “confident and assertive” contrasted with the “Humble and calmer” way people grow up in the state.
Over the weekend, Moniz said she came across a photo of Pelletier when opening a rape relief center in Las Vegas and contacted the executive director of the organization, which has worked with law enforcement for many years.
“He’s her all-time favorite police officer, and that says a lot” Moniz said.
She said the manager reported that no one had taken advantage of a center program to train hotel security until Pelletier heard about it.
“Thanks to him, they have trained more than 5,000 security guards over the past five years,” Moniz said. “She said he was humble, that he was ready to do the right thing even if it was not popular.”
Commissioner Mark Redeker said “In my opinion, there really has to be a change.
He said he gave the highest interview marks to Pelletier and retired deputy chef Larry Hudson.
“I would have no problem going with either one”, Redeker said.
Commissioner Matthew Mano, who participated in the videoconference interviews from Lanai, said he saw Pelletier and Hudson look the Commissioners in the eye.
“Some of the agents who contacted me talked about having a change”, said Manon. “They didn’t say who.
Commissioner Emmett Rodrigues said Pelletier was strong in his interview and written exam.
“We just have to see if he can do the job” said Rodrigues. “Like he said, it will take five to seven years to upgrade it, and we’re probably not going to be here.”
Commission chairman Frank De Rego said Pelletier met several criteria, including education, with his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and his degree from the FBI National Academy.
Pelletier was “the only person I saw who went off the beaten track” when asked to define community policing and how to implement it, De Rego said.
During his interview, Pelletier said he would reform the MPD’s Community Relations Section into a “Community engagement office” report to the chief and create a multicultural advisory board with monthly meetings.
De Rego said another landmark was Pelletier’s strategic plan.
In his written exam, Pelletier said his vision was for Maui “To be the safest island community possible” and his mission was “Provide a pono police service in partnership (with) the community”.
“A plan is a plan. It can be good or bad ”, said De Rego. “But it’s a way forward. It’s a way of doing an assessment, of involving stakeholders, of looking at your operations, not only internally but externally.
“There were a few people who stood out, who I think understood the process. But there was one person who really understood the process.
He said the commission could use the written responses to “Keep them what they promise to do.”
De Pelletier, De Rego said he saw “Leadership, management capacity, responsibility and sustainability”.
Vice-president Roberta “Bobby” Patnode said she was okay with “so many wonderful things” said by other commissioners.
“I couldn’t help but be impressed by John Pelletier,” she said. “He did so much homework. He really wants this job. This is what matters most to him and he has proven it to us and he has proven that he can be a leader.
She and other commissioners also greeted the other finalists – Wailuku Patrol Captain Everett Ferreira, Hudson, Deputy Chief John Jakubczak and Deputy Chief Victor Ramos.
All of them have had excellent careers, said Commissioner Travis Tancayo, representing Molokai.
“I give all the credit, a lot of credit, for putting everything on the line and doing what they did” said Tancayo.
“I really wish we could choose five chefs, but we can’t” said Manon.
Tuesday’s vote followed a selection process that was revised to allow for interviews with candidates in an open public session that was broadcast online on Friday.
“I really appreciate the strength and wisdom the commission has shown throughout the process and I applaud the transparency” said Pelletier. “And the interactions that I was able to have with the community in the limited time touched me a lot. I know that as we move forward together we will have incredible opportunities to make this island community as safe as possible. “
Pelletier, a third-generation police officer and 22-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, has served as Commander of the Major Violator / Narcotics Bureau since January 2020, following previous leadership assignments, including as head of the Convention Center Area Command which includes the Las Strip of Vegas.
He was born in Buffalo, NY, and has lived in Las Vegas for over 30 years since the age of 17.
He said he had been visiting Hawaii for more than 20 years and had overseen the post of MPD chief for years.
After chief selection in 2014, when applicants had to be residents of the state for at least one year, the law was amended to remove this requirement. The work brings in $ 158,851 a year.
For six days in Maui to take the written test and participate in the commission’s oral interviews last week, “I made a point of talking to anyone who wanted to talk” said Pelletier.
“I was able to contact the LGBTQ community, the Aboriginal community as well as the police and ordinary people who just wanted to share their thoughts and ideas and listen to my thoughts and ideas. he said. “Breaking down barriers is how you build relationships and trust. “
Pelletier and his wife Cristy have a daughter and a son who are 13 year old twins.
The new chef will replace chef Tivoli Faaumu, who retired on May 1.
* Lila Fujimoto can be contacted at [email protected]