LIHU‘E — Back in uniform Tuesday, one of Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry’s first actions was to place two assistant police chiefs back on duty.
Shortly after 2 p.m., Assistant Chief Roy Asher and Assistant Chief Ale Quibilan were seen exiting Perry’s office. Asher was wearing his sidearm and badge in plainclothes and tie as head of the Criminal Intelligence Unit, while Quibilan was in uniform as head of the Patrol Services Bureau.
“It’s good to have them back,” Perry said. “Morale has gone up since they have come back to work in the department this morning, and we need their expertise, guidance and leadership back at the helm.”
Perry said he wants the public to know that the return of the two assistant chiefs, who were placed on paid leave in connection with an employee complaint, was handled in accordance with department policies. He said testimony for the internal investigation regarding an employee complaint has reached a point that allows their return to work.
Perry had been first suspended Feb. 1 and then placed on paid leave by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. a week later in connection with the complaint.
The details have not been discussed by the mayor or police chief, with both saying the internal investigation is still under way.
The Kaua‘i County Police Commission ordered Perry back to work, and Perry was back on the job Feb. 22, but he was not given access to his uniform, badge, gun, computer and other equipment. The mayor continued to state that Perry was on leave.
Perry’s equipment was returned after Carvalho held a news conference on Monday to announce that Perry was no longer on paid leave and back at work.
“It feels good to be back to work,” Perry said. “I want to thank everybody for their support. I have received dozens of calls and emails.”
Whether the mayor or the police commission had the authority to place Perry on leave or return him to his job has been the subject of several meetings, and Perry said the meetings have been positive.
The Kaua‘i County Council has reportedly retained outside legal counsel to interpret the county charter as it applies to the powers of the mayor and the police commission over the office of the police chief.
For the past two years, the police department has prepared for a national accreditation process to streamline standards and policies used by law enforcement agencies around the country. The application was submitted to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies in February.
Perry said the department is well-prepared, and he hopes to complete the three-year process within two years.
• Tom LaVenture, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or tlaventure@ thegardenisland.com.