Members of the Hawaiʻi Police Department and the public celebrated Police Week on Monday (May 12) at the Hilo police station. A 21-gun salute, “Taps” and a candle-lighting ceremony were part of the tribute to the four Hawaiʻi Police Department officers killed in the line of duty since 1918: Manuel Cadinha (1918), William “Red” Oili (1936), Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku (1990), and Kenneth Keliipio (1997).
During the ceremony, Chief Harry Kubojiri said that Momi Cazimero, the sister of Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku, has been working to erect a memorial for the Police Department’s fallen officers and that she is optimistic construction will commence soon.
Chief Kubojiri said Cadinha, Oili, Jitchaku and Keliipio are among 20,000 law enforcement officers nationwide who have been killed in the line of duty. “The sacrifice of our four brother officers will never be forgotten,” he said.
The chief also acknowledged Officer Joshua Gouveia and Officer Garrett Hatada, who were shot and injured last year while responding to a report of gunshots in Hilo. Both officers have since returned to work.
Hawaiʻi County Managing Director Wally Lau, who was representing Mayor Billy Kenoi, said in his opinion every day should be Police Week. “We should remember and we should say thank you,” he said.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as Police Week.
Another Police Week ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday (May 14) at the Kona police station. The public is invited to attend.