Open letter to the citizens of Kaua‘i

As you know, the Kaua‘i Police Department is in a state of uncertainty with respect to the controversy surrounding the limits of authority and power of the Mayor of the County of Kaua‘i as it relates to the Kaua‘i Police Commission, and by extension, the Kaua‘i Police Department and its leadership.

While I am not at liberty at this time to expand further on the pending investigation and the underlying motivation behind what has transpired, I can tell you that I am staying the course, and will be seeing this through.  

Recently, I had a chance to re-read my acceptance speech after being appointed by the police commission as your chief of police.

 I reflected on the words that were spoken on Oct. 1, 2007, and the personal commitment I made to the citizens of the County of Kaua‘i.  

A “new beginning” expressed my optimism as your new chief of police.

I also conveyed my vision for the future:  a community where fear of crime no longer dominated the headlines, where citizens enjoyed the freedoms of our Constitution, where doubts about the integrity of our police department would be replaced with confidence and trust, where our children would be raised in a safe and value-based ‘ohana, where our sons and daughters understood and truly believed they are the architects for a brighter future.

My promise to you as your chief was to work as hard as possible to be the best police department that we could possibly be.

 Our goals, while straightforward and simplistic, were much more difficult to attain because of the economic downturn and the absence of support from the administration.

Some of my goals included filling vacancies, better service delivery through technology, openness and transparency, long- and short-term crime reduction strategic plans, youth programs, development of community and governmental partnerships, and a commitment toward departmental accreditation.

At this juncture, I am still very committed to making these goals a reality.

And while it has been difficult to maintain my enthusiasm because of the current state of affairs, I am still honored and humbled to be your police chief and will continue to serve you to the best of my abilities.

To that, I would like to add that there have been many individuals, locally, statewide and at the federal level who have offered words of encouragement. Thank you very much.  

I would also like to thank Mayor Carvalho and the Kaua‘i Police Commission for their diligence to bring clarity to this issue so that future police chiefs will have distinct lines of authority with respect to the chain of command.

Lastly, I would like to ask you, the citizens of Kaua‘i, for your continued support for the Kaua‘i Police Department.   

We are going through a paradigm shift that will change things for the better, but it will take time.

And as we move forward, please remember this famous quote by noted author Alan Cohen that expresses my feelings: “Our history is not our destiny.”  

• Darryl Perry is chief of police of Kaua‘i County.

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