LIHU‘E — The 96th Police Recruit Class graduated two officers — Tyler Glipa, and Kyle Sunn — before a handful of the officers’ families, members of the Kaua‘i Police Department, members of the Kaua‘i County Council and the Kaua‘i Police Commission on Thursday morning in the breezeway of KPD headquarters.
Acting Assistant Chief Capt. Mark Ozaki welcomed the audience, which enjoyed the shade of the KPD building, noting that unlike the previous four recruit graduation ceremonies, this one is getting back to some sense of normalcy with no attendance restrictions, no social distancing, no ban on lei-giving and no mask mandates.
“Let’s point out the obvious,” Ozaki said. “There’re only two recruits at this graduation ceremony. No, this is not the norm. KPD usually has a lot more police officer graduates at the end of recruit training, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In addition to the hard work put forth by Glipa and Sunn, Ozaki noted the pair’s accomplishments were far from small, including putting in more than 1,000 hours of classroom and hands-on training, and passing the numerous topics and disciplines required for graduation.
He offered some numbers to think about.
“In 2021, 194 people applied with the County of Kaua‘i to become a police officer,” he said. “Of the 194 applicants, 119 took the written exam, with 82 passing. Of the 82 that passed the written exam, 55 passed the agility course to move on to the background-investigation phase.
“Of the 55 people that made it to the background-investigation phase, seven were provided a job offer in the July class, leaving 48 names as possible new officer prospects. From the 48 names, we have these two.
“This is not a small class, but instead the cream of the crop, consisting of resilient, dedicated individuals who are committed to serving and protecting their community.”
Glipa, born and raised on O‘ahu and a graduate of Mid Pacific Institute, joined KPD from a job where he was a manager at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. He is the son of Jason Glipa and Lyndell Shunk.
Sunn, also born and raised on O‘ahu, graduated from Wai‘anae High School before coming to Kaua‘i, where he was a tour guide for Kaua‘i Backcountry Adventures.
The pair join the KPD as its newest officers following the pinning of the badges and the oath of office administered by KPD Chief Todd Raybuck.
Raybuck also commented on the small number of graduates.
“Some might say, ‘KPD is only graduating two recruits today. We need more officers,’” Raybuck said. “That is a true statement, and I would love to be standing before 15 graduating recruits today. But I want you all to remember that it only takes one!
“It only takes one police officer to comfort the crying child who just fell off their bicycle. It only takes one police officer to be the protector of a battered spouse who has lived in fear for too long. It only takes one police officer to make a positive difference in someone’s day by simply saying ‘hello,’” Raybuck said.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island