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Kaua‘i Police Chief Raybuck eyes department reorganization

LIHU‘E — The organizational structure of the Kaua‘i Police Department may look different by this time next year.

Chief Todd Raybuck appeared before the Kaua‘i County Council on May 3, where he announced his intention to reorganize the department in hopes of improving efficiency.

“KPD cannot keep doing business as usual,” Raybuck said. “If we keep doing things the way we’ve always done it while hoping for a different result, we’ll get the same result.”

Though the final plan for reorganization will be decided through an ongoing collaborative process, Raybuck voiced his preference for shifting from a three-bureau to a two-bureau model.

KPD is currently divided into the Patrol Services Bureau, the Administrative and Technical Bureau and the Investigative Services Bureau, each run by one assistant chief and one captain. But the size of each bureau differs greatly, with 121 sworn officers and 36 civilians in Patrol Services, 13 sworn officers and 22 civilians in ATB, and 24 sworn officers and 13 civilians in ISB.

Raybuck criticized this as a “disparity in the span of control.”

The chief also discussed other organizational issues that may be addressed, like removing the crime scene lab unit from the Investigative Services Bureau chain of command.

“Police work is ever-changing, and I think it’s necessary that we look at how we do our operations and whether we can make modifications,” said Raybuck.

He said he tentatively hoped a decision on reorganization can be made before the budget process for the next fiscal year begins.

The State of Hawai‘i Organization of Police Officers union will have a say in the reorganization plan.

“If it’s going to affect the working conditions of our members, then we would have a meet and agree, where we sit down with the chief and the city and work it out — which we’re totally up for doing,” said SHOPO President Bobby Covaco at the May 3 meeting.

Speaking to The Garden Island, former KPD assistant chief and current SHOPO Business Agent Roy Asher was skeptical about reorganization, and said he didn’t view the “disparity in the span of control” as a problem.

“I’m a firm believer in ‘don’t try to fix something that’s not broken,’” Asher said.

A reorganization has been considered for several years, with Raybuck presenting a draft plan back in 2019 and 2020.


Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 808-647-0329 or
Source: The Garden Island

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