Maui News

Yabuta Named New Maui Police Chief

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The Maui County Police Commission today selected Deputy Chief Gary Yabuta as Maui County’s new chief of police.

Deputy Chief Gary Yabuta was named Maui's New Police Chief.  Photo Courtesy:  County of Maui.

Deputy Chief Gary Yabuta was named Maui’s New Police Chief. Photo Courtesy: County of Maui.

Police Commission Chair Doreen Gomes called the task of selecting a successor to Police Chief Tom Phillips was a difficult one saying, “The three well-experienced candidates shared many of the same attributes and qualifications, which made our selection process very difficult.”

Gomes said Yabuta was selected, “After many hours of research, interviews and deliberation.”

“We thank Lt. Bobby Hill and retired Captain Paul Winters for their dedication and willingness to serve their community, and for participating in the process. Maui County was indeed fortunate to have three extremely well-qualified candidates to select from,” said Gomes.


Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares responded to the appointment saying, “As deputy police chief, his constant professionalism is always appreciated. For over 27 years, deputy chief Yabuta has been dedicated to public service as a member of our police force, and I look forward to working with him as our new chief of police. I extend my appreciation to all candidates and applicants for their commitment to serving the public,” said Tavares.

Deputy Chief Yabuta commented that there is “no greater honor or privilege than to lead the fine men and women of the Maui Police Department as chief of police and to serve Maui for which we are sworn to protect. I thank the Maui Police Commission for believing in me. Chief Thomas Phillips will be leaving a great police department, and I am truly honored to be his successor,” said Yabuta.

Yabuta received his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of California, Northridge. He is married to Dee Dee (Noreen); they have a daughter, Moana, and two grandchildren. His favorite pastimes are surfing and exercising.


Since joining the Maui Police Department in 1983, Deputy Chief Yabuta’s career with the Maui Police Department has encompassed a broad range of duties. In his current role as Deputy Chief of Police, he serves as second-in-command of the department. Yabuta will replace Chief Thomas Phillips, who will retire May 31. Yabuta will take over the department of 367 officers and 143 civilian employees as chief of police on June 1.

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