Maui police release report detailing 32 recommendations following August wildfires
A week after wildfires left the town of Lahaina in ruins, aerial video shows the utter devastation left behind where a vibrant town once stood.
Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The Maui Police Department has released a preliminary report examining its response to devastating wildfires that erupted on the island in August, killing 100 people and devastating the historic Hawaiian town of Lahaina.
The 98-page so-called after-action report was released Monday, putting forward 32 recommendations for the island's police force, many of which it said have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.
Chief John Pelletier wrote in a letter that they have worked without compromise to detail their response to the worst wildfires to hit the United States in a century, stating the report is "crucial to assessing and reflecting upon our actions."
"We cannot control the incidents we respond to; we can, however, control our responses in the aftermath. To enhance our preparedness and response capabilities for future incidents, MPD chose to evaluate this incident so others within the profession can learn from our response," he wrote.
"An extensive review of our work can save lives, which is without a doubt the ultimate goal of law enforcement."
During a press conference Monday announcing the report, Pelletier said the audience of the document was law enforcement with the intent of receiving feedback to ensure "there was nothing we missed" before the publication of the final report in six months to a year.
Many of the recommendations in the report center on technology and equipment, from updating systems already in place to hiring a social media manager and issuing earpieces to all officers to improve communications in high winds.
Other recommendations include increased and diversified training, as well as a breaching kit to be put in every supervisory police vehicle to remove debris from roadways and better communications within the force, among others.
Amid severe weather that hit the island of Maui on Aug. 8, multiple fast-moving wildfires erupted and spread across the island. In total, 100 lives and thousands of homes were lost. The fires burned 1,283 acres upcountry, 3,240 acres in south Maui and 2,170 acres in Lahaina, which experienced the worst devastation and where most of the deaths occurred.
Pelletier told reporters Monday that search efforts are still underway for three people listed as missing in the wildfires.
"The work that was done by the Maui Police Department, by the other first responders and by the members of this community is the tip of the spear. It is unprecedented and it is best practice," he said.
"This community deserves the very best, and this agency is the very finest. We put service about self, we put honor above all. Make no mistake, these were our worst hours, these were our finest moments. We are Maui strong."Report a Typo
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