Lee Donohue

Photo courtesy Lee Donohue

Photo courtesy Lee Donohue

For most people, retirement means shedding a busy schedule to make way for free time to spend recreationally. But 10 years after retiring as Honolulu Police Department’s chief of police, Lee Donohue seems to be experiencing quite the opposite.

Officially, he serves as director of security with Securitas Security Services Inc.’s California-Hawaii region, and he runs his own private investigation business, utilizing the knowledge and experience he gained from 40 years with HPD.

Then there is karate school American Karate Kai, of which he is owner and sensei, and the approximately 10 nonprofit organizations with which he is involved.

“I’m so busy, I’m working more now than ever,” he admits with a laugh. This Friday evening (May 16), Honolulu Police Community Foundation holds its seventh-annual fundraising event. The foundation, which Donohue co-founded in 1997, was inspired by his own visit to New York Police Foundation.

“We went and we saw a lot of good things that they did for the police department and the community, (so) I brought the idea back,” he explains.

Money raised during the fundraiser support the organization’s community and HPD-related endeavors.

Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to college-bound students in the community. It also provides HPD with money to purchase equipment to improve the quality of safety for officers in the field, and funds medical-alert devices for the elderly through Honpa Hongwanji’s Project Dana.

The evening also will honor Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), and Visitors Aloha Society of Hawaii, a nonprofit funded by HTA that assists visitors who fall victim to theft or lost property.

“We kind of look to the community for people who deserve the recognition,” he says.

Donohue, who was on MidWeek‘s July 22, 1998, cover, also continues to aim his passion and experience as an eighth-degree black belt toward Kick Start Karate, a nonprofit he co-founded in 1994. Open to youths ages 6-18, it is a Police Activities League program that educates and encourages character development through martial arts. Annually, the free program welcomes about 100 participants.

“I’ve always been involved with kids, and I guess it’s just been part of my way of giving back,” he says.

To attend Honolulu Police Community Foundation’s event and for more information, call 396-1733 or visit honolulupolicecommunityfoundation.org.