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Honolulu police major selected as next Hawaiʻi Police Department chief

Benjamin Moszkowicz
County of Hawaiʻi
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Currently with the Honolulu Police Department, Benjamin Moszkowicz was selected to head Hawaiʻi County's police department on Dec. 16, 2022.

Honolulu Police Department Maj. Benjamin Moszkowicz has been selected as chief of Hawaiʻi County's police department.

The Hawaiʻi County Police Commission affirmed his selection in a 5-3 vote, with Chair John Bertsch recused.

HPR has reached out to Moszkowicz for comment.

Moszkowicz is a 22-year Honolulu Police Department veteran and currently leads the department's traffic division. In the past, he's led the Information Technology Division, been a patrol watch commander and was a supervisor for the vehicle homicide section.

On Monday and Tuesday, commissioners publicly interviewed four finalists for the Hawaiʻi Police Department chief position. The three other finalists were retired FBI senior agent Edward Ignacio, Kauaʻi Police Department Acting Assistant Chief Capt. Paul Applegate, and Maj. Sherry Bird, the only candidate currently employed at the Hawaiʻi Police Department.

Hawaii County Police Chief collage.png
County of Hawaiʻi
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“I was not born in the Big Island, I have not worked in the Hawaiʻi County Police Department, I've developed myself professionally and academically to the point where I feel I can contribute to the department and I think I would do an amazing job as a chief,” Moszkowicz said Tuesday.

Earlier this year, Moszkowicz was a finalist for the job of Oʻahu police chief — which ultimately went to Joe Logan.

"My skill set is much broader base and much more I feel like have an executive-level skill set where I can come in and form collaborations, identify partners, find solutions that work and as the CEO basically of this company of the Hawaiʻi County Police Department, those are the skills that I bring to the table," Moszkowicz said.

According to his website, Meet Maj. Ben, Moszkowicz holds a bachelor’s in public administration with a specialization in justice administration from the University of Hawaiʻi - West Oahu, and a master's in law enforcement and public safety leadership from the University of San Diego. He was recently accepted into a leadership Ph.D. program at Gonzaga University.

During the public hearings earlier this week, commissioners seemed concerned Moszkowicz’s ongoing academics may get in the way of the job.

"This job would be a humongous time commitment, and that certainly is a priority that would slide ahead of me continuing my academic progress, at least temporarily," he said.

Commissioner Rick Robinson, while casting his vote for Moszkowicz, said he was impressed by the major's resume.

"There's line officers and staff officers, and he has been both a line officer and a staff officer," Robinson said. "He has an understanding of the process, how it works, communication with SHOPO, and I think he'll be a good support for our team here on the Island of Hawaiʻi."

Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth said in a statement, "Having worked with Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz for over 15 years on numerous traffic safety committees, I can confidently say that he’s an intelligent guy who works very well with others. I’m excited to continue our work together as we build upon the incredible foundation of community-minded policing laid by former Chief Ferreira and Acting Chief Bugado."

Sabrina Bodon is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact her at sbodon@hawaiipublicradio.org or 808-792-8252.
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