First HPD Chief of Hawaiian Ancestry


Chief William Hoopai
June 1, 1946 to October 1, 1948

William Hoopai, assistant Chief of Police under Chiefs Weeber and Gabrielson, was named by the Police Commission as acting Chief of Police on April 12, 1946. On June 1, 1946 he was officially named Chief of Police. The position of Assistant Chief was temporarily left vacant.
The immediate problem confronting Chief Hoopai was that of convincing the public that efficient and effective police services had not been affected by the graft scandal.
Hoopai was a "local boy", the first to take on the position of Chief of Police. He was aware of the responsibility he carried, not only to the public, but to his colleagues in the service.
In 1946, Chief Hoopai created an elite unit to combat gang violence. This 12-man team, lead by Sergeant Neil A. Donohue, had been given unusual freedom in its operation by Chief Hoopai. This team, called the Metro Squad, eventually expanded and became the Tactical Operations Division. Today the division is known as HPD's Specialized Services Division.


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