Hawaii Police Department’s 80th Recruit Class Recognized

The Hawaiʻi Police Department’s 80th Recruit Class was recognized Wednesday (March 6) during ceremonies held at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

3rd Row L to R: Emmett Winters Jr. Ivan Alatan, Robert McKay Jr., Mario Ochoa, Daniel Silva-Sampaio, Brian Hunt, Matthew Bennett.2nd Row L to R: Joseph Picadura, Jesse Martin, Ronald Borowski, Joel Furuto, Sidra Brown, Tyler Jelsma, Brian Beckwith, Darren AbalosFront Row L to R: Nestor Cacho Jr., Landon Takenishi, Christopher Jelsma, Dustin Chaves, Justin Cabanting.

3rd Row L to R: Emmett Winters Jr. Ivan Alatan, Robert McKay Jr., Mario Ochoa, Daniel Silva-Sampaio, Brian Hunt, Matthew Bennett.
2nd Row L to R: Joseph Picadura, Jesse Martin, Ronald Borowski, Joel Furuto, Sidra Brown, Tyler Jelsma, Brian Beckwith, Darren Abalos
Front Row L to R: Nestor Cacho Jr., Landon Takenishi, Christopher Jelsma, Dustin Chaves, Justin Cabanting.

The 20 police recruits, who just completed six months of intensive training, will undergo four months of on-the-job field training with veteran police officers before they are qualified to work alone.

During Wednesday’s ceremony, Class President Christopher R. Jelsma said the first day of recruit class was a “real eye opener.” Although the recruits were pushed physically and mentally, he said, the greatest test was making the transition from being just classmates to becoming a cohesive team.

Keynote speaker Lincoln Ashida, corporation counsel for the County of Hawaiʻi, stressed the importance of officers committing their lives and careers to serving the community even when they aren’t on duty. He recalled that 17 years ago, when he was a prosecutor, he was called during the night because of a felon arrested for burglary.

Ashida said a “young lieutenant” who was heading home during a meal break heard a report over his police radio about houses that had been burglarized in Hilo. The lieutenant spotted a suspicious man matching the suspect’s description at a convenience store, so he turned his car around, stopped at the convenience store and eventually was able to arrest the man, who was in possession of jewelry and a weapon.The burglar was prosecuted federally and sent to federal prison.

“That young lieutenant was your police chief, Harry Kubojiri,” Ashida said. “That is the type of leadership that you are joining.”

During the ceremony, Jelsma received special recognition for excellence in physical fitness training, firearms training and for being the overall outstanding recruit. Ronald S. Borowski received special recognition for excellence in academic training.

The other members of the 80th Recruit Class are:

Class Vice President Ivan L. K. Alatan, Class Secretary/Treasurer Mario A. Ochoa, Darren J. A. Abalos, Brian B. Beckwith, Justin L. Cabanting, Dustin S. Chaves, Brian A. Hunt, Tyler V. Jelsma, Robert L. McKay Jr., Joseph K. Picadura, Landon H. Takenishi, Matthew D. Bennett, Sidra K. N. Brown, Nestor Cacho Jr., Joel J. Furuto, Jesse D. Martin, Daniel K. Silva-Sampaio and Emmett H. Winters Jr.

The class motto is “Live with Honor Serve with Pride.”

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