LIHUE — Kauai Police Department officer Jason Scalzo noticed the large pieces of opala when the Patrol Services Bureau was involved in patroling Ke Ala Hele Makalae in anticipation of the Mayor-a-thon earlier in the summer.
“He wanted to pick up the large pieces that included bicycles, automobile tires, shopping carts, and even wooden pallets,” said Sgt. Kenneth Carvalho. “He wanted to do something that would make a difference. He got everyone who was on patrol involved and formed a partnership with Pat Porter and the Department of Parks and Recreation to help cut the grass and overgrowth.”
Including Scalzo and Sgt. Carvalho, other officers involved in the operation were Officer Jonathan Anderson, Officer James Gause Jr., Officer Matthew Kaluahine, Officer Kalama Lingaton, Officer Blake Moura, Officer Roland Peahu Jr., Officer Isaiah Sarsona and Officer Clayton Silva Jr.
The result was not only a clean Ke Ala Hele Makalae, but an increase in the feeling of safety and a decrease in phone calls to dispatch involving criminal activity.
“Words are hard to describe just how much these officers have done to improve the conditions of the Kapaa multi-use path,” said Chief of Police Todd Raybuck who also joined one of the cleanup patrols. “They saw a need and stepped above and beyond their call of duty to meet that need. It has made a big difference in our community.”
The public rarely gets to see the great things police officers do, and the sacrifices they make, he said.
“Today, I am proud to honor these 10 outstanding men for their efforts to make this community a better place for us all,” Raybuck said.
The Kauai Police Commission joined Raybuck in acknowledging the efforts of the 10 men who were named Officers of the Month for August, during the commission’s Aug. 30 meeting. Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami and Councilwoman Felicia Cowden also added their congratulations on the unified task that resulted with no tickets being issued, or any jail activity.
“When we encountered people with shopping wagons containing personal effects, we simply told them that if officers found the items on the next patrol, it would be considered trash and taken away,” Sgt. Carvalho said of the task that utilized talking and respect. “This kind of activity cannot be tolerated. But we need the help of the entire community to keep the place clean and making it a safer place.”
Each of the honored officers received a special lei, certificate of appreciation from both the Kauai Police Department and the Office of the Mayor, and a chief’s coin.
“Our office would often receive calls from people who didn’t feel safe in a place that was built for families to enjoy,” Kawakami said. “We thank these officers for taking this initiative and dedicating their time and service to meet the requests and needs of our community. Due to their continuous patrols and efforts, Ke Ala Hele Makalae is a safer place for us all to enjoy on a daily basis.”
Source: The Garden Island