The Hawaiʻi Police Department joined police departments throughout Hawaiʻi and the United States by holding two public ceremonies – Monday, May 12 at the HPD Headquarters in Hilo and Wednesday, May 14, at the Kona Police Station in Kealakehe, Honokōhauiki. Both ceremonies were as part of the annual commemoration of national Police Week and Peace Officers’ Memorial Day.
Each year, the Hoʻokena School PTO commemorates this event by sending a letter to the Chief of the Hawaiʻi Police Department to express the sentiments and sincere gratitude of the organization to the men and women of our police department – a small gesture of aloha from our community. As such, the Kealamākia Foundation will continue to carry on this annual tradition.
In his letter to Chief Harry S. Kubojiri dated May 14, 2014, Hoʻokele/CEO Wryen K. C. Kīwaha wrote, “Although the Hoʻokena School PTO is now a foundation serving Hawaiʻi Island, we wish to carry on the tradition of honoring the men and women of our police department; who, each and every day, put on the uniform of our beloved County and put their lives at risk in service of the people.”
“Each year, especially during Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and Police Week, we are reminded of the daily sacrifice of our officers and their families. Our community should feel ever more secure in knowing that we have such valiant and courageous individuals working to enforce the law, to mentor our youth, and to keep our communities safe.”
He continues, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Kealamākia Foundation, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to you, our officers and civilian staff for their service. We wish you all the best and pray always for the safety and well-being of our real life heroes.”
On October 1, 1961, U. S. President John F. Kennedy signed into law a bill declaring May 15 of each year as “Peace Officers’ Memorial Day”; with observance beginning in 1962. The working holiday honors all those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the exercise of their duties and in service to their communities. Of the 20,000 officers killed in the line of duty, 63 are from Hawaiʻi.
Hawaiʻi Island itself has lost five officers – Manuel Cadinha (1918), William ʻŌili (1936), Ronald Jitchaku (1990), and Kenneth Keliʻipio (1997) from the Hawaiʻi Police Department; Steve Makuakane-Jarrell (1999) of the National Park Service; and, Allen Winn (1991) of the Drug Enforcement Agency.