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clock Nov 10, 2006 10:35 pm US/Eastern

Chief Moose Now Hawaii Police Officer

(AP) HONOLULU A former police chief from Maryland who headed the Washington-area sniper manhunt three years ago has graduated as one of 40 new Honolulu police recruits.

Charles Moose, who headed Montgomery County's police department, will hit Oahu's streets for patrol duty at 6 a.m. Monday alongside a Honolulu Police Department veteran.

"It's been a long time since I've worked the street ... but it's exactly what I want to do over the next several years," Moose

His wife, Sandy, pinned a gold police badge on Moose's blue uniform after his graduation Thursday night. In Hawaii tradition, well-wishers adorned him with a lei.

Moose, 53, resigned as Montgomery's police chief in 2003 following criticism from county ethics officials who alleged he was cashing in on his job by writing a book about the serial sniper case that made him a celebrity.

He became the face of a multi-agency task force during its investigation of the weekslong shooting spree that terrorized the Washington area in 2002, leading to the arrest of John Allen Muhammad and his accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo.

Muhammad was sentenced to death in Virginia for a sniper killing there and was given six life terms in Maryland. Malvo, who got life in prison in Virginia, was also sentenced Wednesday in Maryland to life in prison.

Moose, who now lives in West Oahu, couldn't have joined the HPD at a higher rank because the department doesn't allow lateral transfers from outside departments, said spokeswoman Michelle Yu.

Anyone entering the department must start as a recruit, she said. That required Moose going through training all over again.

"The physical part was very challenging, but I actually got better," Moose said. "So the training actually works. It got an
old guy into shape.

"I did lose weight, but I'm ashamed to say how much," Moose said, his face noticeably thinner than the one TV audiences grew to know.

Moose was no doubt one of the most experienced and highly educated in his recruit class.

He earned a bachelor's degree in U.S. history in 1975 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has a master's degree in public administration and a doctorate in urban studies and criminology from Portland State University.

He also graduated from the FBI National Academy.

Fellow recruit Kawika Hosea, 26, said Moose "had a lot of insights and gave a lot of words of encouragement in the down moments" during training.

Moose said he's not worried that his being a veteran police officer will pose problems for him on his new beat.

"As long as I do my job, it'll work just fine, just like in the academy," he said. "I need to learn how we do it here, and I'm
looking forward to it."

(© 2006 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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