The Honolulu Police Commission has announced the names of the four finalists in the running to be the city’s next police chief.
On Wednesday, Commission Chair Shannon Alivado identified the finalists as Scott Ebner, Mike Lambert, Joe Logan and Ben Moszkowiz. They are expected answer questions from the public during a live televised forum on May 19 on PBS Hawaii.
Lambert and Moszkowicz are veteran Honolulu Police Department officers and both hold the rank of major. Lambert is head of the training division and Moszkowiz heads the traffic division.
Logan was the state’s adjutant general and head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency in 2018 when the agency mistakenly sent out a false alert that a missile was about to hit Hawaii. He retired in 2019 and has been working as an investigator in the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was previously an HPD officer.
Ebner, the lone mainland candidate, was a lieutenant colonel with the New Jersey State Police. He retired earlier this year.
“After completing this lengthly process, the commission is confident that our process was thorough and thoughtful,” Alivado said in a statement after announcing the names. “We seek a leader for HPD who has demonstrated experience in meeting challenges with a level head and compassionate heart, one who possesses exceptional communication skills and is attune to national trends in policing.”
Until today, commissioners did not know who the candidates were and the search has largely been conducted by PSI Services, a consulting firm hired to assist in the search.
The four finalists were identified as the top performers out of a group of seven applicants during three days of assessment that included exercises the candidates were asked to perform.
Among the exercises were a simulated press conference and police commission meeting, where candidates were asked to talk about accountability, the police union and the public.
The candidates were also asked to explain their disciplinary system and promotion system, as well as respond to the results of a community survey that the police commission published in February that asked for input on the department and what qualities the next police chief should have.
Joe Hinish, principal consultant at PSI Services, told commissioners that the candidates were graded by a panel of assessors on eight different competencies – communication, decision making, interpersonal interactions, managing, accountability, partnering, team building and innovative thinking.
PSI Services recommended that the police commission take the top four candidates and commissioners unanimously agreed.
Earlier in the meeting, commissioner Jerry Gibson discussed the position description for the next police chief, which included leadership skills Gibson outlined as effectiveness, confidence and integrity.
Gibson said the managerial skills the commission was seeking in the next police chief included having a dynamic organization structure and the ability to make informed decisions. He added that the next police chief should inform the commission on decisions that are made and follow personnel guidelines.
The commission has said it will take public testimony on the finalists during their next meetings on May 19 and on May 23.
Commissioners Gibson and Alivado previously told Civil Beat that the final decision on the department’s next police chief is expected to be made by the end of May.
The Honolulu Police Commission began the search for the city’s new police chief after Susan Ballard retired from the position on June 1 amid criticism over her performance.