KAPA‘A — A strong working relationship with members of the community is critical to all Kaua‘i Police Department activities, Police Chief Darryl Perry told two separate groups in the past two days.
“We’re creating an atmosphere of cooperation within the KPD with the community, to bring our children on board with us, because we are you and you are us and we are all part of the community,” said Perry to the Wailua-Kapa‘a Neighborhood Association on Thursday.
Perry also addressed the Kaua‘i Police Commission at its monthly meeting yesterday morning, and reiterated the principles of respect, integrity and professionalism as he distributed copies of the KPD’s new mission statement to each member of the commission.
Perry was the guest speaker at the W-KNA’s monthly meeting and took part in a 90-minute question-and-answer session with some 25 engaged citizens, quelling concerns about issues such as recruitment, recent crime on the Eastside, and his overall goals for the department.
Perry explained that while handgun marksmanship and self-defense tactics are often recognized as critical tools for police officers, “interpersonal communication skills” are both more important and used more frequently, and were considered heavily in the wooing and training of seven recruits who are scheduled to graduate into the force on Friday.
Perry also discussed a community outreach position undertaken by Lt. Dan Miamoto and a “pseudo Internal Affairs unit” established in recent budgets that he hopes will improve the KPD’s relationship with the public.
Lt. Michael Contrades, district commander in charge of operations in the Lihu‘e area, sat at Perry’s side and handled questions about specifics of law enforcement in the greater Kapa‘a area.
“It (crime) happens in waves,” Contrades said, referencing a string of burglaries that took place in Kapa‘a in late July. “We started stepping up patrols in the area. We figured out who we thought it might be, and were unable to tie them to the actual crime, but they did have outstanding warrants, and we were able to pick them up. Immediately after they were arrested, there weren’t any more reports (of burglaries).
“Our officers are out there, and we do special operations to see if we can catch them, and if we can, we find some other way to get them off of the street, at least for a little. What you’ll find is that a lot of similar crimes are the work of one, two, or maybe three people at the most, and when you’re able to weed them out, it’ll stop.”
Contrades and Perry said that Kaua‘i would be the “beta” site for a new crime mapping program designed to help law enforcement agencies map, visualize and analyze crime incident patterns and catch repeat offenders.
Mayoral candidate Rolf Bieber, of Kapa‘a, and County Council candidate Christobel Kealoha, of Lihu‘e, attended the meeting and were among those who asked questions of Perry and Contrades.
• Michael Levine, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org