Interim Honolulu Police Chief Rade Vanic has ended his candidacy to serve as the city’s 12th police chief just before applicants sit for the written examination, according to multiple sources.
Vanic was one of seven candidates for the job to pull his name from consideration with the written test scheduled for Thursday. The police commission gave candidates a deadline to confirm they would take the written examination and proceed with the selection process.
The next police chief is expected to be selected by June.
Vanic did not immediately respond to Star-Advertiser’s phone calls and emails requesting comments about his decision. He reportedly told colleagues and HPD’s leadership team earlier this week that he was withdrawing his name for personal reasons.
In June, shortly after taking over as interim chief, Vanic responded to a question at a news conference about whether he has the experience to do the permanent job.
“Yes, I do, actually. In my nearly 22-year career, I have worked in every single bureau in the department,” he told reporters in June 2021.
Vanic described the specific takeaways from each of his assignments, told in the order of the ranks he attained, starting with his time as a patrol officer in police District 3, Pearl City, and culminating with his role as assistant chief in charge of HPD’s administrative bureau.
He is scheduled to take questions from the Honolulu Police Commission today at 2 p.m.
The written exam candidates will take Thursday was formulated by the commission’s consultant, in part with the data and comments collected from 618 responses to a community survey conducted from Feb. 6 to 13.
The consultant, PSI Services LLC, was contracted on Dec. 10 to complete an “Examination and Assessment of Psychological Competency and Other Characteristics for the Selection of Chief of Police” for the city at a cost of $145,777.50.
Commissioners believe the survey will add the viewpoints of an array of community stakeholders including nonprofit agencies, media, private businesses and current and former law enforcement officers and public officials.
Following the written exam, the remaining candidates will participate in an assessment center where they manage simulated public safety scenarios. After that, a list of finalists will be interviewed by commissioners.
The names and resumes of the final four will be made public, but the identities of the remaining 12 candidates for the position are being kept from the public and commissioners until PSI picks the finalists. Commissioners will then learn the identities of the finalists and move forward with the selection process.
Former HPD Chief Susan Ballard retired June 1.