Police Week Ceremonies Include Honoring Those Slain in Duty
A ceremony was being held today in Kona by Hawaii Police Department officials, the second in celebration of Police Week.
On Monday, the department held a similar event honoring the four members of the Big Island’s police force who have been killed in the line of duty. The ceremony at the Hilo police station included a 21-gun salute, a candle-lighting ceremony and the playing of “taps.”
Those so honored were Manuel Cadinha, who was killed in 1918; William “Red” Oili, who died in 1936; Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku, who was killed in 1990; and Kenneth Keliipio, who died in 1997.
Those speaking at the ceremony included Mayor Billy Kenoi, who said he was grateful that the list was not longer.
Police officials note that of the 19,981 officers listed in the law enforcement memorial in Washington DC as killed in the line of duty, 54 are from the state of Hawaii.
Also recognized Monday were officers Joshua Gouveia and Garrett Hatada, both of whom were shot Jan. 2 in Hilo while responding to reports of gunfire.
“Thankfully, although both officers received gunshot wounds to their lower extremities, they survived the encounter and are currently recovering,” Police Chief
Harry Kubojiri said. He asked the audience to pray for their speedy recovery.
President John F. Kennedy in 1962 designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which it falls Police Week.
President Obama has ordered all US flags to be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in observance of the memorial day, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie has followed suit and ordered that Hawaii flags be included.