Chief’s Corner: New KPD badges on hold

Q: About two weeks ago during the KPAL flag football games by Vidinha Stadium, I noticed a lot of KPD employees had a blue T-shirt with a nice-looking police badge on the back. Someone told me you guys were going to get new badges. Is that true?

• May, Lihu‘e

A: May, sorry about the late response. I received your letter a couple of weeks ago, but I was holding off, hoping that I could give you good news.

But to answer your question, yes, we are in the process of purchasing new badges because other agencies, both in the public and private sectors, have a very similar type of basic badge design. And recently — at least since I’ve come on board — unknowing citizens have mistakenly accused KPD officers of acts of misconduct when, in fact, we were not even involved. These types of accusations not only deplete our resources because we have investigate them, but are also morale busters. Then rumors fly around, and it’s just a bad scene overall.

Additionally, it would not be difficult for someone to get a similar type badge and impersonate a KPD police officer.

The design of the new badge does not lend itself to duplication because of its unique shape and color scheme. The company I worked with to design the badge said it was one of the most distinctive that it had worked on. The bottomline is that the badge would be very recognizable and there would be no mistaken that the person is a KPD police officer.

Unfortunately, the individual we were counting on to fund the project changed his mind, so we’re back to square one. I was hoping to have them for the 79th Recruit Class by the end of August, but we’ll just have to wait a little while longer and look for alternate funding.

Q: What’s the latest on the Brescia’s property, the one out by Ha‘ena with the graves?

• Dale, Moloa‘a

A: We have been monitoring the situation and thus far the construction at the site has been in conformance with the burial council’s recommendation based on the burial treatment plan. There have been a few minor incidents that were reported, but they were unrelated to the actual construction.

While I do not know all of the details, I also understand the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. is involved and has attempted to put an injunction on the construction on behalf of its clients.

In my opinion, the use of the legal system is a better way of resolving this issue. Being part-Hawaiian, I have my own personal views, but as the chief of police I must take a neutral position in accordance to my oath of office. I just hope that those who make the final decision will not forsake or forget our connection to the past, and our strong belief in the principles of Pono.

• Darryl Perry is the chief of police at the Kaua‘i Police Department. Send your comments or questions to dperry@kauai.gov

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