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BREAKING: Tivoli Faaumu Named New Maui Police Chief

Posted September 5, 2014, 10:18 AM HST Updated September 5, 2014, 08:37 PM HST
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Police Commission Chair Roger Dixon congratulates Tivoli Faaumu, who was selected the new Maui Police Chief.  Photo by Wendy Osher.

Police Commission Chair Roger Dixon congratulates Tivoli Faaumu, who was selected the new Maui Police Chief. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The Maui Police Commission has selected Tivoli Faaumu as the new Police Chief for Maui County.

Faaumu started with the Maui Police Department in 1985 at the receiving desk until he graduated from recruit class training.  Upon graduation, Faaumu was sent to Lahaina as a patrol officer where he served for three years before transferring to the Vice, Gambling and Narcotics division.

After two years with the division, Faaumu was promoted to sergeant and was sent back to Lahaina as a field supervisor. As a sergeant, Faaumu also served as a supervisor at the Vice Division, and as a detective in Lahaina until 2004.

In 2004, Faaumu was promoted again, this time to lieutenant, and was assigned to the Island of Lānaʻi as a district commander from 2004 to 2005.

Upon his return to Maui, Faaumu served as a commander in the Communications section for about five years, and later spent time in the Plans Training Research and Development division before being promoted to captain on January 16, 2011.

Maui Police Commission with newly selected Chief Tivoli Faaumu. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Police Commission with newly selected Chief Tivoli Faaumu. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Since his captain promotion, Faaumu has been serving as the district commander for the Kīhei station.

Some of his accomplishments during his 29 year career include service as a repel master, member and crisis negotiator for the department’s Special Response Team, a team leader for “SPEED,” the department’s Special Enforcement Emergency Detail division, and instructor for the department’s Arrest Defense and Tactics classes.

Faaumu also helped to implement the department’s Riot Team, which is called upon to respond to incidents of civil disturbance or dispute.  The team was dispatched for crowd control when the Dalai Lama visited Maui in 2007.

Faaumu’s selection as chief goes into effect on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014.

In an exclusive interview with Maui Now, Faaumu said among his priorities will be working to instill the trust of the community.

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He pointed toward two high profile missing person cases saying it’s important that the families affected are able to have closure.  He said there is a misconception about the department that can be resolved through the dissemination of information.  “We need to provide information… there are points in time when we cannot tell everything, but we will keep you up to date,” said Faaumu.   “By providing information to the public it will help them understand what we are doing, and provide a better service to the community,” he said.

Faaumu said he will be looking into the selection of a Deputy Chief and did not have a timeline on hand, but said a selection would be made soon.

“I’m hoping that we can work with the Acting Chief for a smooth transition; that we can be brought up to speed with where the department is,” he said.

Faaumu said he also plans to work with the commissioners who he said serve as the voice of the community, representing nine areas.

“I’m happy, excited, honored and humbled.  It’s very emotional.  I’m trying to compose myself. I feel honored that they trust me,” he said.

Tivoli Faaumu was selected the new Maui Police Chief.  Photo by Wendy Osher.

Tivoli Faaumu was selected the new Maui Police Chief. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Faaumu served in the US Army for 31 years, attended FBI National Academy, earned his Masters Degree in Homeland Security, a B.S. in Business Management, and an
A.S. in Administration of Justice.

The six finalists considered for the post included: Acting Police Chief Clayton Tom; Assistant Chief Victor Ramos; Captain Tivoli Faaumu; Retired Assistant Chief Larry Hudson; Retired Major from the Honolulu Police Department Moana Heu; and retired NewYork Police Department Lieutenant Chuck Tsang. 

Faaumu fills the vacancy created by the departure of Chief Gary Yabuta who retired from the post on July 31 to take on employment at the federal level as director for the Hawaiʻi High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program in Honolulu.

The recruitment notice indicates that the job of Maui Police Chief pays $135,000 per year.

In a press release issued by the Maui Police Department this afternoon, Faaumu thanked his family including his daughter Muelang K. Molina, sons William and Andrew Faaumu, two grandchildren Brianna and Brenan and partner Deborah Ross, “for their unwavering support throughout his police and military careers.”

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