East Hawaii News

Ceremony Wednesday Recognizes 80th Police Recruit Class

March 7, 2013, 12:11 PM HST
* Updated March 7, 12:12 PM
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The Hawaii Police Department’s latest recruit class was recognized Wednesday with a ceremony held at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

The 20 members of the class – the department’s 80th – recently completed six months of intensive training.

Class President Christopher R. Jelsma called the first day of class a “real eye opener.”

According to Jelsma, the toughest test was not the significant physical and mental challenges, but making the transition from being classmates to becoming a cohesive team.

In his comments, keynote speaker Lincoln Ashida, the county’s top civil attorney, stressed the importance of officers committing their lives and careers to serving the community.

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Ashida said that includes off-duty hours. He spoke of an instance 17 years ago, when he served as a deputy prosecuting attorney, when he was called for a case during the night.

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The incident involved a young lieutenant heading home during a meal break who responded to a report about break-ins at some Hilo homes. The lieutenant then spotted a man matching the description of the suspect at a convenience store.

The lieutenant arrested the man who was found in possession of stolen jewelry and a weapon. The suspect was eventually convicted and sent to federal prison.

“That young lieutenant was your police chief, Harry Kubojiri,” Ashida told the recruits. “That is the type of leadership that you are joining.”

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Those recognized during the ceremony included Jelsma for excellence in physical fitness training, firearms training and for being the overall outstanding recruit.

Ronald S. Borowski was recognized for excellence in academic training.

The class motto was “Live with Honor, Serve with Pride.”

The recruits will next undergo four months of on-the-job field training with veteran officers before going out on solo duty.

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