Less than a year after being sworn in, police Deputy Chief Charles Hank III is leaving the job as second in command of the Maui Police Department.
Police said his retirement takes effect Nov. 16, when acting Assistant Chief Wade Maeda will be promoted to deputy chief.
In a news release Thursday, police said Hank’s work “was integral in assisting with the new administration’s transition.”
Both Hank and Chief John Pelletier were sworn in Dec. 15.
“Words cannot express how immense his contributions to the department have been and how appreciative I have and will continue to be for his friendship and professional support,” Pelletier said in the news release.
Hank was retired after more than 30 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department when he was chosen to be deputy by Pelletier, who was a captain at the Las Vegas police department when he was selected as chief in October 2021.
Pelletier waived the one-year residency requirement and picked Hank after setting requirements for the job including major event planning, air support, detention services management, strategy development and execution, 21st century policing and collaborative reform process. Officials said Hank was the only applicant who had all of the qualifications for the job.
Police spokeswoman Alana Pico said Hank’s departure isn’t related to employee complaints against him and Pelletier alleging a hostile work environment.
After reviewing investigations into five employee complaints against Pelletier and members of his executive staff in closed executive session, the Police Commission has declined to impose disciplinary action against Pelletier.
After the announcement Thursday, Sgt. Nick Krau, Maui Chapter chair of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, said, “We wish Deputy Chief Hank well in his retirement and we are pleased that our next deputy chief will be someone who has answered 911 calls in Maui County and worked his way through the ranks in MPD.”
“We are hopeful his appointment will help improve communication and morale among frontline officers, and we look forward to working with him to improve the Maui Police Department and the services we provide our community,” Krau said.
Maeda joined the department in 1997, and was a Wailuku patrol officer before transferring to the Molokai Patrol District. He returned to Wailuku and was assigned to the Vice Narcotics Division. In 2006, he was promoted to sergeant and served in the Molokai Patrol District again, before being assigned to the Wailuku Patrol District and then to the Vice Narcotics Division, where he was the K9 supervisor.
In 2012, he was promoted to lieutenant and was a watch commander in the Wailuku Patrol District before becoming commander of the Special Response Team.
After being promoted to captain in 2018, Maeda worked in the Quality Assurance section, Vice Division, and Wailuku Patrol Division before his most recent assignment as acting assistant chief of the Investigative Services Division this year, following the retirement of Assistant Chief Randy Esperanza.
Maeda and his wife, Ruth, have three children.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.