Hawaii Department of Public Safety appoints state sheriff

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Public Safety has announced that William Oku was appointed to replace Sheriff Al Cummings, who will retire from the position Dec. 1.

Acting Director Edmund Hyun said Oku has law enforcement and security management experience dating back more than 30 years.

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“He will provide effective leadership, accountability, and will strive to obtain accreditation and certification through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement which requires a comprehensive and uniform written directive that clearly define authority, performance, and responsibility,” Hyun said.

Oku started his law enforcement career in 1981 when he was a state officer with the attorney general’s office. He previously worked as a sheriff, a patrol officer and was part of the Specialized Services Division, Crime Reduction Unit and Criminal Investigations Divisions Gang Task Force.

He then continued his career as assistant security director for the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu and then operations manager for Akal Security and Investigations.

Oku was appointed in 2010 to serve as chief of staff for former police Chief Lee Donohue while he was in City Council. He was most recently senior special assistant in the office of the governor.

The appointment came the same day the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Transportation also announced new departmental leadership.

Jon Nouchi was sworn in as acting director after serving in the position for two weeks, department officials said. Dre Kalili was also sworn in Wednesday as deputy director after taking on the role earlier this month.

Nouchi has served as acting director since Nov. 11 after former Director Wes Frysztacki decided to step down and move to Washington state to spend time with his family.

Nouchi has worked in “planning and operating efficient and sustainable transportation networks in Hawaii for over 20 years,” the department said in a statement.

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He had previously served as deputy director for the department, but vacated the position to take on the acting director role.

He also served as deputy director of planning and environment for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

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