Canine kennel dedicated at Hilo police station 10-15-04

PHONE: 961-2243
OCTOBER 15, 2004

KENNEL DEDICATION – Captain Samuel Thomas, head of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Division, left, County Managing Director Dixie Kaetsu and Billy Kenoi, the mayor’s executive assistant, take part in the dedication of the East Hawaii Canine Kennel.


The Hawaii County Police Department’s four narcotic detection dogs now have a place to stay while their handlers are on duty in Hilo — thanks to a joint effort by the county and the community.

The East Hawaii Canine Kennel was dedicated during ceremonies Friday (October 15, 2004) on the grounds of the Public Safety Building in Hilo.

The James Ishii General Contractor company provided materials and manpower to build the kennel, which includes a concrete block shelter and chain-link fencing, with some funding from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency.

It was blessed by the Reverend Kobun Yachi of the Hilo Meshoin.

During the dedication ceremonies, Captain Samuel Thomas, head of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Division, said: “This facility will allow our officers to house our canines at the police station while on-duty, thus making the canines more readily accessible.”

“Just as a point of interest, in 2004 as a result of canine alerts, our department has recovered in excess of 24 pounds of ‘ice’ (crystal methamphetamine). That’s more than was recovered in all of 2003.”

Thomas quoted the police department’s vision statement, saying: “The Hawaii Police Department is committed to providing the highest quality of police service and forming partnerships with the community to achieve public satisfaction making the Big Island a safe place to live, visit and conduct business.”

“Certainly the partnership formed with James Ishii for this project is well in line with our vision statement,” he said. “The Hawaii Police Department and the community it serves are truly appreciative of the contributions made by Mr. James Ishii and his company … as well as for funding from the Hawaii HIDTA Task Force, without whose assistance our East Hawaii Canine Kennel would not be possible.”

County Managing Director Dixie Kaetsu and Billy Kenoi, the mayor’s executive assistant, also spoke at the dedication.

Captain Thomas then presented Ishii with a certificate of the appreciation from Police Chief Lawrence K. Mahuna.

Thomas read a letter from the chief, thanking the contractor for “donating the materials and manpower necessary for the completion of the dog kennels.”

“As a result,” the letter said, “we are able to properly shelter our canine assets, which are an invaluable tool in combating the flow of illicit drugs in our community.”

The East Hawaii Canine Kennel is the second police kennel for narcotic detection dogs. There is already a kennel on the grounds of the Kona Police Station in Kealakehe. The two kennels will give the department’s four Labrador retrievers — Li’i, Nalu, Kalei and Pono — a place to stay in both Hilo and Kona while their handlers are at work.

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