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Ceremonies Kick Off Police Week 05-14-01
HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
OFFICE OF THE POLICE CHIEF
MAY 14, 2001
|POLICE WEEK CEREMONIES-The Hawaii County Police Department officially kicks off Police Week with ceremonies at the hilo Police Headquarters honoring officers who have fallen in the line of duty. Above, members of the family of one of the officers, Manuel Cadinha, prepare to light a candle in his memory. Below, members of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program Keola Pono No Na kupuna, entertain the guests.|
The Hawaii County Police Department officially kicked off Police Week with ceremonies Monday (May 15, 2001) at the Public Safety Building in Hilo.
Mayor Harry Kim told the officers and their guests that because their job is to enforce the law, police officers will always be criticized.
Even so, Kim said, “we all know how much you do for us.”
“All you have to do is ask, whom do you call when someone threatens us?” Kim told the officers. “It isn’t me, it’s you.”
The week of May 13-19 has been proclaimed Police Week throughout the United States. The week has been celebrated since 1962, when the late President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 of each year as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and the calendar week on which May 15, falls as Police Week.
Assistant Chief Lawrence K. Mahuna called attention to the three Hawaii County officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty — Officers Manuel Cadinha, who died in 1918; Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku, who died in 1990; and Kenneth Keliipio, who died in 1997.
Noting that the Big Island is fortunate to have had a relatively low number of officers who have been killed in the line of duty, Mahuna noted that “a Big Island police officer’s job is not a safe and easy one.”
Mahuna, who is serving as acting police chief in the absence of Chief James Correa, who was on the mainland, said that during the past three years, there have been 78 assaults on Big island police officers, an average of more than two attacks each month.
In addition, he said, “our police officers put themselves in harm’s way every time they engage in hot pursuit of a fleeing suspect, intervene in a violent domestic dispute or help rescue a victim from danger.”
Noting the theme of this year’s Police Week observance — “In Valor There Is Hope” — Mahuna noted that the Big island continually ranks as having the lowest or next to lowest crime rate in Hawaii, and “consistently has the highest crime clearance rate in the state and indeed one of the highest in the nation.”
Major Morton A. Carter, head of the Technical Services Section, said the first law enforcement officer in the United States to die in the line of duty was Isaac Smith, a farmer, doctor, politician, war hero and New York City deputy sheriff who was shot and killed while trying to arrest a man for disturbing the peace on May 17, 1792.
Since then, Carter said, more than 15,000 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty.
Family members of the Big Island’s three fallen members lit candles in memory of their sacrifice.
Other speakers during the ceremonies included James Arakaki, County Council chairman, and Walter Moe, a member of the Hawaii County Police Commission.
The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, “Keola Pono No Na Kupuna,” and Ka Leo O Kamakani provided entertainment.
Throughout the week, police exhibits will be on display in the Traffic Services Section of the Hilo Police Headquarters and in the public parking lot fronting the building. In addition, all district police stations on the Big Island will be open for conducted public tours. Anyone interested in scheduling a tour of a police station should call Officer Dexter Veriato of the Community Relations Section at 961-2264.
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