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KPD graduates six in 94th recruit class

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department held a small outdoor ceremony on Thursday for its 94th Police Recruit Class graduates.

Branden Ray J. Barroga, Arven Roi Bunao, Ian I. Cowden, Kaleb M. Poree, Blake A. Saito and Il Hwan Yum were announced as the department’s 94th Recruit Class in the company of their immediate household family members, a few of KPD’s commanders, as well as special guests including Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami, who was a guest speaker, Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, Kaua‘i County Council Public Safety Chair Felicia Cowden and Kaua‘i Police Commission Chair Catherine Adams.

“It’s not a secret that finding and retaining police officers is something that our County and our State continue to struggle with. That is because making the choice to put your life on the line while being exposed to constant scrutiny and rising expectations is not something very exciting or appealing to the average person,” Kawakami said. “Not many are willing to take on such an important responsibility. But today, we have six individuals who are willing and who are able to serve and protect our community. They came from all parts of life – from locally-born and raised to serving our country protecting our freedoms to formerly working in the FBI. And we give them, along with all of our officers in blue, and their ‘ohana, our utmost respect and honor.”

KPD Captain Mark Ozaki served as the Master of Ceremonies, Lieutenant Kenneth P. K. Cummings presented the 94th Recruit Class, and Chief of Police Todd G. Raybuck expressed congratulatory remarks at Thursday’s ceremony at KPD headquarters in Lihuʿe.

“As you begin your career as a police officer, remember to follow this simple rule: treat others as you would want a police officer to treat a member of your family—with fairness, friendship, impartiality and respect,” Raybuck said. “You are now ambassadors of every man and woman that wears the uniform. Every interaction you have with the public will shape the view of all officers. Your profession is not just a job, it’s a commitment—a commitment to serve others, strengthen relationships with those we serve, and enhance the quality of life in our community.”

Poree received the Physical Fitness Award for demonstrating a high level of physical abilities on a consistent basis during their training.

Cowden received the Marksmanship Award for an outstanding skill level in firearms proficiency and safe handling.

Yum was honored as the Most Outstanding Recruit for excelling in all areas of the rigorous training while building camaraderie in the group.

The graduation began with an invocation by Police Chaplain Kevin Cram and concluded with the ceremonial pinning of badges by household family members, followed by the recruits taking a police officer oath in front of the audience.

During the ceremony, the recruits expressed gratitude toward their families and fellow classmates for their support, as well as their training cadre, including Sergeant Alan Santella and Sergeant Len Nitta, for their wealth of knowledge and expertise.

The ceremony was made possible by the collective efforts of several individuals within the department, such as Lieutenant Cummings, Lieutenant Darren Rose, Sergeant Darla Nonaka, Sergeant Lance Okasaki, Sergeant Phil Banquel, Officer Bobby Thompson and Officer Morris Unutoa.

The police recruit graduation ceremony is the culmination of six months of classroom and reality-based training. Following graduation, each police services officer was assigned a field training officer to shadow for the next four months.

Upon successful completion of the 16-week program, the officers will be released from training to assume patrol assignments.
Source: The Garden Island

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