Police salute fallen heroes this week
Four Hawaii Island officers killed in the line of duty, as well as two officers injured in a Hilo shooting earlier this year, will be honored by fellow Hawaii Police Department officers and the community during public events this week.
The National Police Week events, slated for 10 a.m. today at the Hilo Police Station and 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Kona Police Station, include pre-ceremony entertainment and a tribute to Hawaii County police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. A 21-gun salute accompanied by a rendition of “Taps” is also part of the program.
Police Chief Harry Kubojiri will speak during the Hilo ceremony. Deputy Chief Paul Ferreira will speak at the Kona ceremony, which Kubojiri is unable to attend.
The four police officers who died in the line of duty while serving the Big Island community are Officer Manuel Cadinha, in 1918; Officer William “Red” Oili, in 1936; Officer Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku, in 1990; and Officer Kenneth Keliipio, who died in the line of duty in 1997 following a fatal car accident involving an off-duty police officer.
In addition to those lost, the event will also recognize HPD officers Garrett Hatada, a 14-year veteran of the department, and Joshua Gouveia, a 4-year veteran. On Jan. 2, the officers suffered gunshot wounds to their legs allegedly inflicted by Martin Keaka.
The officers have yet to return to the line of duty, according to Area I Assistant Chief Henry Tavares.
The officers had responded to reports of gunshots in the area of Wailoa Pond in Hilo. Keaka was apprehended inside a home the next day.
Also during Police Week, officers will conduct tours of the Hilo and Kona stations from 9 a.m. to noon Friday.
President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as National Peace Officer Memorial Day in 1962 and in 1994 President Bill Clinton directed the American flag on all government buildings be displayed at half-staff in remembrance of those killed. The week surrounding May 15 is known as National Police Week.
This year, 321 names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall in Washington bringing the number of officers killed in the line of duty in the United States to 19,981, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Of the 321 names to be added, 120 made the ultimate sacrifice in 2012.
That includes two Hawaii officers, who will be added to the 50 officers from police departments in the state already listed on the memorial. The Honolulu Police Department officers being added are Garret Collin Davis, who was killed Jan. 21, 2012, after his police cruiser was rear-ended, and Chad Michael Morimoto, who died following a motorcycle accident that occurred during a training exercise on July 23, 2012.