Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim issued a reaffirmation oath to Police Chief Paul Ferreira and Deputy Chief Kenneth Bugado at a public ceremony at the Hilo police station on Monday (January 9).
In an address to a standing-room-only crowd of Police Department employees and members of the community, Chief Ferreira said he has no plans to make major changes to the Police Department because that would imply that something is wrong with the way it is performing. Instead, Ferreira said, he will enhance existing successes, including the Community Policing philosophy and the department’s accreditation program.
Ferreira said he supports body-worn cameras for police officers but added they are just one tool for law enforcement and not a “fix-all.” The first course of action for body cameras, he said, will be to establish policies and procedures. He added he will seek state and federal funding to help offset the cost of purchasing equipment, storing videos and staffing positions dedicated to administering a body-camera program.
The new chief said two major challenges facing the Police Department are adequate staffing to accomplish the department’s mission, and costly repairs and maintenance of police facilities.
He told his employees he will provide “unwavering support and leadership” that will allow them to accomplish their mission as professionally as possible. He told the community the department will stay true to its vision of “providing the highest quality of police service and forming partnerships with the community to achieve public satisfaction making the Big Island—Hawaiʻi Island—a safe place to live, visit and conduct business.”
The Hawaiʻi County Police Commission named Ferreira as chief on December 8 and confirmed Bugado as deputy chief on December 20. The mayor officially swore in the two during a private ceremony on December 30, when outgoing Chief Harry Kubojiri retired at the close of business after 37 years of service.
Ferreira, who was deputy chief under Kubojiri, joined the Police Department in 1982. During his career he worked as a patrol officer and a detective and then held several positions in the Administrative Bureau, including assistant chief.
Bugado joined the Police Department in 1989 and most recently served as the captain of the Criminal Intelligence Unit and the Office of Professional Standards. During his career, he also worked as a patrol officer, a sergeant and detective, and the lieutenant in the Administrative Services Division, where he managed the Police Department’s Accreditation Section.