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Maui Police Chief Faaumu to Retire May 1, 2021

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Tivoli Faaumu was selected the new Maui Police Chief. File photo by Wendy Osher (Sept. 2014).

By Wendy Osher

Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu announced his planned retirement, set to take effect on May 1, 2021.

Faaumu is a 36 year veteran of the department, starting out at the receiving desk in 1985. He was named police chief in 2014, serving six and a half years at the helm.

Department spokesperson Alana Pico tells Maui Now that Chief Faaumu was planning to retire earlier but stayed to assist with the pandemic.


Yesterday the police commission confirmed that they coincidentally had the item on their agenda before receiving official notice that Chief Faaumu was retiring.

Expenditures for the Department totaled $56,648,937, according to the department’s 2019 annual report. As of January 1, 2020, the department had 425 employees. The 2020 Annual Report has not yet been finalized with updated information.

Of note recently was the police chief’s involvement in a motor vehicle accident with a parked motorcycle in November 2020 at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Shopping Center parking structure. The department released information on the incident after receiving a demand letter from an unknown source, and as a video of the incident surfaced online. A department spokesperson confirmed that the incident did not have anything to do with his decision to retire.

Earlier in his career, upon graduation from recruit training, 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 Jan. 16, 2011.

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


Some of his accomplishments during his 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 also 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.

In an interview with Maui Now in 2014, Faaumu said among his priorities would be working to instill the trust of the community. 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’s term as chief took effect on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. His last day on the job will be April 30, 2021.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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