LIHUE — It won’t be long, perhaps today, before the nation loses another law enforcement officer in the line of duty.
“By the end of the year, we’ll lose 70 more officers,” Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry said Monday.
Perry cited national statistics during a short ceremony where Hawaii’s fallen law enforcement officers were honored before the ranks of Kauai Police Department officers and members of the 87th Recruit Class.
Tribute to law enforcement officers who perished in the line of duty is the seed for National Police Week, which was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy by a joint resolution of Congress.
Kauai joined the nation in paying tribute to these law enforcement personnel, recognizing May 16 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week following as National Police Week, states a proclamation issued by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.
“It is important that all citizens become aware and understand the duties, responsibilities, hazards, and other sacrifices of our law enforcement agencies — federal, state, and county — and recognize their duty to serve the people by safeguarding life and property,” Carvalho said.
Nationally, each year there are about 60,000 assaults on law enforcement officers resulting in nearly 16,000 injuries, and over the last decade, an average of 160 officers a year have been killed in the line of duty.
The roll call of fallen officers on the federal, state, and county levels was read off by members of the 87th Recruit Class, scheduled to graduate in July — Tony Honorato, Ariel Ramos, Scott Logue, Ashley Carillo, Kevin Gras, Bobilee Silva, Stacy Lockhart, Eric Ogihara, and Derrick Kelley.
For 2016, there have been 35 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty with the average age being 37 years old.
“There have been some pretty close calls on Kauai,” said KPD Lt. Rod Green. “Fortunately, we haven’t lost anyone.”