LIHU‘E — Three graduates — Arthur K. Kahawai, Joseph M. “Joey” Esaki, and Jonah M. Farias — of the 98th Police Recruit Class became the newest officers of the Kaua‘i Police Department during graduation ceremonies held at Kaua‘i Veterans Center.
“You are now police officers,” said Assistant Chief Mark Ozaki, who represented police chief Todd Raybuck and performed the administrative protocol of administering the Oath of Office and the distribution of badges.
In addition to the three individuals who joined the brotherhood, Ozaki welcomed members of the new officers’ families to the Kaua‘i Police Department ‘Ohana.
Thursday was a dream come true for Jonah Farias, who was born in Lawai and graduated from Waimea High School.
“He always wanted to be a police officer,” said Ozaki, noting the different enforcement background and employment Farias brings to the position.
The desire to be a police officer was the fire that drove him to be named Outstanding Recruit by Acting Lt. Alan Santella during the announcement of Special Awards by the class. Officer Kahahawai was noted the most Physically Fit and Esaki walked away with the Marksmanship award. The awards were earned during the weeks of work the recruits spent in the classroom and out in the field.
And the training continues for the three new officers, who will be paired with veteran officers for more training before being allowed to handle responses on their own.
“You’re superheroes,” said Police Chaplain Jade Wai‘ale‘ale Battad, whose grandson was thrilled to “go to work with grandma” where he would be surrounded by men in blue. “Young boys and girls look up to you. You are mentors. Don’t let them down.”
Special guests to the emergence of new police officers included acting Mayor Reiko Matsuyama, the mayor’s Chief of Staff Sarah Blane, County Council member Felicia Cowden, and Police Commission Chair Mary Kay Hertog.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island