Remembering the fallen

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kauai Police Department Chief Todd Raybuck, seated right, Executive Assistant Chief Michael Contrades, seated second from right, and other KPD officers have their mourning bands over their badges while reflecting on the names of fallen law enforcement officers Friday during the ceremony that wrapped up National Police Week, at KPD headquarters in Lihue.

LIHUE — A small gathering of Kauai Police Department leaders, officers and County of Kauai officials wrapped up the National Police Week observance with a solemn ceremony Friday at KPD headquarters to remember fallen Hawaii law enforcement officers.

Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said the event forces one to reflect on the gravity of the moment.

“My mother always wanted us to pray,” Kawakami said. “But she said to pray for the things we take for granted. We depend on the police, and we ask everyone to give thanks for the work they do, and we honor those who gave their lives for our safety.”

Arryl Kaneshiro, Kauai County Council chair, said safety is something we take for granted.

“It’s very easy to overlook safety,” Kaneshiro said. “It’s easy to just wake up and not think about safety. It’s also very easy to criticize on social media. But when there is trouble, who are the first people being called? The dispatchers and police.”

Everyone was quiet and at attention as the names of more than 20 fallen Hawaii law enforcement officers was recited by four of KPD captains.

“I want to remind people of the big mahalo to all the employees of the Kauai Police Department — officers and civilian workers — that provide the highest level of professional service in public safety through teamwork, and an unwavering commitment to excellence,” said Capt. Mark Ozaki. “We are a team, and I’m breaking away from the program with a prayer. Let me pray, Lord, and I say this from the bottom of my heart — please, please, don’t let us have a police funeral.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and wphotographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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