Senator Clarence Nishihara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs released the following statement regarding the retirement of Public Safety (DPS) Director Nolan Espinda:
“Like many across the State, I too have lost faith in DPS and its leadership team’s ability to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our prison system. From the beginning, Director Espinda and the department were slow to implement proper safety protocols, such as testing for inmates and staff. Serious issues such as lack of personal protective equipment and unsafe conditions for uninfected inmates were never appropriately addressed by Director Espinda.
This lack of leadership and inability to guide the department through this pandemic has put us in the difficult situation that we find ourselves in today.
As chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, I welcome the opportunity to work with Governor Ige in finding someone who has the qualifications and leadership ability to guide the Department of Public Safety moving forward.”