City Prosecutor Alm Joins the A-1 Podcast to Discuss Year 1 Progress
Last week, City Prosecutor Steven Alm graciously shared about an hour of his holiday to discuss the progress made in year 1 of his tenure.
Given that his predecessor, Keith Kaneshiro, still remains the target of an ongoing federal probe, my first question was, "In year 1, how have you restored TRUST in the office?"
City Prosecutor Alm went on to detail the various enhancements made, like for example:
1) Assigning first deputy Tom Brady to review all cases handled by Katherine Kealoha for impropriety.
2) Increasing transparency through media debriefings
3) Reimagining the old hiring practices of Mr. Kaneshiro, whom many viewed as preferential to hiring his own friends.
4) Instead, City Prosecutor Alm prefers to engage a committee of voices in his office for hiring. One stark difference, is granting more opportunities to younger attorneys, with greater potential to learn great habits and be promoted from within the office.
We also discussed the reintroduction of his "Weed and Seed," program in Chinatown. Despite the early success of this reboot, a prominent social justice advocate compared "Weed and Seed" to "just stop and frisk by another name."
"I think its just a misunderstanding because stop and frisk is when police officers in high crime areas just stop people in the street and frisk them for weapons...thats against the law here in Hawaii, it would not be acceptible..the two have nothing to do with each other," responded City Prosecutor Alm.
Although its not a "perfect" comparison, its close enough to demonstrate the progress I verified myself a day before the interview. Above, is a picture of River St, just after you pass N Pauahi st. The photo is from the website chinatownwatch.com and it was taken on 1/21/21
On 10/10/21, I drove through River st and turned right on N Pauahi st. It was clearly cleaner, safer, and encampment free.
About Birney B. Bervar
Bervar & Jones / Attorneys at Law
Birney Bervar has been practicing in the field of criminal law since 1983. Mr. Bervar graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Accounting from the University of Washington in 1981, and received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1984. He handles cases in the following areas:
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