January 8, 2010 – Hilo, Hawaii
VIDEO by David Corrigan
The Big Island community recognized 17 members of the 77th Recruit Class on Thursday during a special ceremony held at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.
Chief Harry S. Kubojiri told the recruits, who just finished six months of intensive training, that the public won’t often thank them for the work they do. “You will have to find inner satisfaction from adhering to our core values and doing the best job possible,” he said. “You must learn to make your dedicated service its own reward.”
Mayor Billy Kenoi and Police Commissioner Anita Politano Steckel also spoke words of encouragement and congratulations to the new law enforcement officers.
The class president, Steven J. Burkey, said the members of the recruit class came from South Africa, Michigan, Colorado and Hawaii with backgrounds as electricians, teachers, car makers, house painters and former police officers. Now, he said, all of them now have the Police Department’s core values “adorned on our chests in the symbol of our badges.”
Burkey also joined two other recruits as recipients of special recognition for their excellence in training. Burkey, excelled in physical fitness training, while Kaeo J. Drummondo excelled in academic training, and Michael W. Matsumura excelled in firearms training.
The other recruits recognized were Vice President Aaron P. Abalos, Secretary-Treasurer Aron M. M. Tomota, Paul R. Endean, Andrew D. Gabriel, Cory A. Gray, Joshua D. Grotkin, Bradden T. Kimura, Shea L. A. Nactor, Blake M. Ragocos, Adrian C. Ruiz, Michael K. Rutkowski, Gabriel D. Wilson, Brett P. Winther and Danton K. Zimmermann.
The keynote speaker, Deputy Corporation Counsel Brandon Gonzales told the recruits that accountability is key to their success. “Recently in society, cop bashing is kind of in vogue,” he said, adding that the recruits can change that by being professional with the public. “Everybody you deal with, you deal with as if they’re your Grandma.”
The recruits will now undergo four months of on-the-job field training with veteran police officers before they are qualified to work alone.