A lifetime dedicated to the safety and security of our community
With over 30 years of experience in the criminal justice field, Keith Kaneshiro has dedicated his life to the safety and security of our community. Recognized globally as an innovative crime fighter, Keith has a proven record of reducing crime in our neighborhoods and attacking the source of the problem.
Success in the courtroom
While Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu, Keith demonstrated his trial expertise in gaining convictions for high-profile criminal cases. As coordinator of the Organized Crime Strike Force, Keith played a key role in battling organized crime activities in the city, gaining convictions in murder-for-hire cases and an organized crime execution of a prostitute. In addition, he also broke up a national credit card fraud ring based upon his investigations.
At the state level, Keith served as the Supervisor of the Criminal Justice Division in the Department of Attorney General. As head of the division, Keith handled all criminal prosecution cases handled by the Attorney General’s Office. He continued to achieve convictions in cases involving organized crime and further developed his expertise in financial fraud cases. He worked on cases involving Medicaid fraud, investment scams, and convicted the first computer fraud case in the state of Hawaii.
In 1988, Keith was elected the Prosecuting Attorney of Honolulu, the first of two elected terms. He revolutionized the way the office operated, creating new policies and techniques to keep the city safe. Keith created specialized units in sexual assault and domestic violence cases where prosecutors were given additional training and expertise. He introduced and successfully lobbied the state legislature to pass innovative laws in money laundering and the ability to seize funds from drug traffickers. Understanding the global nature of crime, he created programs that enabled prosecutors across Asia to visit Honolulu, sharing ideas and tips. He directed and led his investigators and attorneys in numerous multi-jurisdiction cases which resulted in convictions in Honolulu, Los Angeles, Seattle, and South Korea. Keith was also able to bring a man from Japan to face a murder prosecution in Hawaii. The extradition of a Japanese national is considered to be very rare, yet Keith was able to achieve justice for the victims and the man was convicted.
At the end of his two terms as Prosecuting Attorney, Keith chose to give up his position in order to allow new and fresh ideas into the office. After a brief period of private law practice, Keith was appointed and confirmed as the Director of Public Safety for the State of Hawaii. As Director, Keith supervised the entire Hawaii prison system, as well as the State Sheriffs and the State Law Enforcement Agencies. Continuing his innovative management style, he conducted sweeps throughout the prisons to ensure the safety of inmates and correctional officers, and introduced cost-effective ways to increase bed space.
After leaving the public sector, Keith continued his private law practice and founded a private security company. He has trained numerous agencies and offices around the state in safety and security topics and has remained active in law enforcement issues.
Since 1995, Keith has served on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer for the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. The organization assists states across the county in hosting drug summits and drafting drug laws. In 2005, Keith played a key role in bringing the 2nd National Methamphetamine Legislative and Policy Conference to Hawaii, where over 200 law enforcement personnel, treatment providers, and government officials addressed ways to tackle the crystal meth epidemic that was impacting the world. During the conference, Keith was a featured speaker during the meth trafficking portion of the conference, sharing his thoughts and experience in battling the importation of ice into Hawaii.
Keith has dedicated over 30 years of his career to keeping our community safe and secure. He has demonstrated his courtroom skills in achieving convictions in complex cases. He has introduced new and innovative management ideas when serving as an administrator for large departments. He has national and international knowledge and connections to be able to attack drugs at its source. And he has the vision to make Honolulu a global leader in crime-fighting techniques.