LIHUE — The Kauai Police Department on Wednesday honored officers who died in the line of duty.
The ceremony was part of National Police Week that runs through Saturday.
The weeklong tribute isn’t enough, some said, to highlight the dangers peace officers face routinely.
“It’s a shame we only celebrate National Police Week once a week. We only think of them when we need them, when we need help, and even then sometimes we don’t appreciate them.” said Kauai County Councilman Mel Rapozo, who was a KPD officer for 12 years after he joined the force in 1985.
About 100 people attended the ceremony, which was hosted by Sgt. Roderick Green and featured a luncheon in the back parking lot of the police department.
“For police officers there’s no such thing as a normal day,” said Nadine Nakamura, county managing director. “Seemingly simple, routine responses can often be the most dangerous. You never know when a person’s life, possibly your own, may be in danger.”
Chief of Police Darryl Perry expressed appreciation of the sacrifices made by those who died in the line of duty, and emphasized the importance of having respect for police officers.
One of the most well-known of the fallen officers mentioned was Troy Barboza, who served in the Honolulu Police Department under Patrol District 1 beginning on Jan. 30, 1986, and died on Oct. 22, 1987, by gunfire. The Troy Barboza Law Enforcement Torch Run, that takes place on Kauai every year for the Special Olympics, was named after the fallen officer.
Afterwards, members of the 86th Recruit Class for the Kauai Police Department, who are training to join KPD, announced the officers who died in the line of duty statewide.
“It is important that we call to mind the hard work and the dedication of policemen and policewomen as well as the support staff who makes up the Kauai Police Department,” said Chaplain Thomas Contrades, who opened the ceremony with a prayer. “We ask our heavenly father to bless each and every one of them as they diligently do their duties to protect and serve our community.”