69th recruit class 03-16-07

PHONE: 961-2244
MARCH 16, 2007


Members of the Hawaii Police Department’s 69th Recruit Class (left to right):
James Waiamau, Benjamin Tajon, Rodolfo Johnson, Brian Markham, Colin Pacheco,
Matthew Bartz, Ellsworth Fontes Jr., Warren Elvena, Matthew Kulow.


Nine members of the Hawaii Police Department’s 69th Recruit Class graduated Thursday (March 15, 2006) during ceremonies held at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

The police graduates, who underwent six-and-a-half months of intensive training, will now undergo nine more weeks of on-the-job field training after being assigned to veteran police officers.

During luncheon ceremonies, Chief Lawrence K. Mahuna told the recruits that the recruit class was just the beginning of their service to the community. “Our core values of integrity, professionalism, compassion, teamwork and community satisfaction must be something that you live by,” he said.

Mayor Harry Kim said police officers work hard for low pay and are exposed to things most citizens never have to see. “I will always appreciate you,” he said. “I will always thank you for what you do.”

The keynote speaker, Deputy Prosecutor Jack Matsukawa, told the recruits that police officers are “professional witnesses” who must practice integrity in and out of the courtroom. “One case cannot make your career,” he said, “but one case can make you lose it.”

Matsukawa said he talked to retired police officers to get words of advice for the recruits. One recommended that the officers always treat victims and suspects “like how you treat your mothers.”

County Council chairman Pete Hoffman described the recruits’ “absolute commitment” to police work. “Each one of these members of this class is going to make a difference,” he said.

Police Commission chairwoman Pudding Lassiter spoke about qualities police officers must possess. “A policeman is one who never hesitates to tackle the most difficult problem,” she said.

The president of the recruit class, James Waiamau, said the new officers grew very close during their intense training. “Nothing prepares you for the level of camaraderie that exists here,” he said.

Three of the graduates received special recognition for their excellence in training. They were Matthew Bartz, who excelled in academic training, Ellsworth Fontes Jr., who excelled in firearms training, and Brian Markham, who excelled in physical fitness training.

The other graduates were Warren Elvena, Rodolfo B. Johnson, Matthew Kulow, Colin Pacheco and Benjamin Tajon.

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