LIHU‘E — Four Kaua‘i Police Department officers took a break from distributing free, non-medical-grade face masks Thursday at Elsie Wilcox Elementary School.
The officers got help from Wilcox School teachers and staff as they were fitted with fabric face masks presented to them by the mother of a student who is safer at home and relied on her mother to make the delivery of masks she created alongside her mother.
The officers were participating in the first of three distributions, where a steady stream of cars flowed through the drive-thru, for 1,500 non-medical-grade, disposable face masks presented by Grove Farm Company.
Earlier in the day, police officers joined Hawai‘i National Guard personnel in showing appreciation to the Wilcox Health health-care workers and first responders during a flyover by the Hawai‘i Air National Guard, evidenced by the symbolic orange sunglasses donned by Wilcox Health health-care workers in response to the flyover.
“Traditionally, we usually have a small service or ceremony to celebrate National Police Week,” said Roy Morita, a member of the Kaua‘i Police Commission. “But this year, there is so much to do to keep people healthy and safe from the pandemic, there is no ceremony.”
Morita himself donned a different cap, that of Life’s Bridges, in hosting lunch for workers in the Emergency Operations Center Friday.
Kaua‘i joins other organizations in having alternative means of honoring and appreciating police and other law-enforcement officers.
Police Commission member Chip Bahouth, general manager of the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort, has been leading a team of volunteers in hosting meals for the closed resort’s associates and their families.
Leina‘ala Pavao Jardin, another police commissioner, has been hosting weekly Souper Sunday events with her hula halau, with the help of halau dancer Ann Hashisaka of the Kaua‘i Kookie company.
“The Fraternal Order of Police and its auxiliary will be unable to host the 39th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service in Washington, D.C., due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pat Yoes, the National FOP president, on the Police Week website. “This decision was a difficult one, but we believe it is the right one.”
KPD officers have been on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic, working alongside Hawai‘i National Guard personnel in enforcing mandates, curfew and rules generated by the pandemic.
KPD officers were visibly present when a group of individuals took to the street in expressing their First Amendment rights of free speech and free assembly Friday, and continue to respond to emergency situations that take place despite the safeguards put in place by the novel coronavirus.
National Police Week was established in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation declaring May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which the date falls as Police Week.
Today is the final day of that week, and people have an opportunity to thank and appreciate the KPD its work by taking in the fourth Police, Pastors &Platters drive-thru breakfast distribution, where KPD officers will be joined by Senior Pastor John Cabello and members of New Hope Lihu‘e in serving free meals from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Puakea Golf Course in Lihu‘e.
Sunday, Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina‘ala and Kaua‘i Kookie, with the help of the Kekaha Agriculture Association, host Souper Sunday from 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Kaua‘i Kookie along Kaumuali‘i Highway in Hanapepe.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.