Hometown Heroes: The men and women in blue

  • For this week’s Hometown Heroes, West Hawaii Today’s newsroom is taking the reins and is nominating each and every one of the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line each day to keep us safe in paradise. This honor is also being bestowed in memory of fallen Hawaii Police Department Officer Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa, who paid the ultimate sacrifice on July 18, 2018. (Photos by Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • The name of Officer Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa and other officers who gave their lives in the line of duty are seen on the Hawaii Police Department memorial wall in Hilo in this 2019 file photo.

  • Hawaii Police Department photo Officer Bronson Kaliloa displays the plaque bearing his name as "Puna Patrol Officer of the Year" for 2014.

  • Police Chief Paul Ferreira and Deputy Chief Kenneth Bugado Jr. salute during the taped 2020 Police Week Ceremony in Hilo. (Image capture from YouTube video/West Hawaii Today)

  • Police Chief Paul Ferreira. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Mayor Harry Kim

For this week’s Hometown Heroes, West Hawaii Today’s newsroom is taking the reins and is nominating each and every one of the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line each day to keep us safe in paradise.

This honor is also being bestowed in memory of fallen Hawaii Police Department Officer Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa, who paid the ultimate sacrifice on July 18, 2018.

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Saturday marks the second anniversary of the tragic shooting in Puna that forever changed our Hawaii Island community.

Please join us in a moment of silence at 4:44 p.m. Saturday to remember the sacrifice Officer Kaliloa made and to honor his fellow brothers and sisters of the Hawaii Police Department who have the watch.

Officer Kaliloa (Badge 444), you laid down your life for us — you will never be forgotten.

A special message from Hawaii Police Department Chief Paul Ferreira

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank all the men and women of the Hawaii Police Department, both sworn and civilian, who have made your police department the organization it is today. It is only through their dedication and commitment to the citizens of Hawaii Island that I believe make the Hawaii Police Department in my humble opinion second to none in the state.

Over the past several years, Hawaii Island has been impacted by some significant events, from the volcanic eruption to earthquakes to devastating rains, and now comes the COVID-19 pandemic. Through all of this, the men and women of the department have demonstrated their resilience and commitment to their chosen profession in providing the community with the highest quality of law enforcement services.

One of the unfortunate consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic was our inability to recognize our fallen officers in a formal ceremony during National Police Week, which was May 11 to 15. This Saturday, July 18, marks the second anniversary of the loss of one of our brave warriors killed in the line of duty, Officer Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa, who will live in our hearts forever.

Another unfortunate consequence during National Police Week, was our inability to express the appreciation for all of the great work done by our officers who are faced with challenges on a daily basis and more especially during this pandemic as they were expected to be out there on the streets doing their jobs. I know that there are some in the community that will say that it’s no big deal, because that’s what they are paid for; the question to ask is would you be willing to do the same?

We have all seen how the face of law enforcement is changing throughout the nation and with it comes many new challenges and expectations. Recently, police departments and officers are under greater scrutiny than ever before. Even though here in Hawaii we have not experienced the disdain for law enforcement as seen on the mainland, we are still affected by it. One of the major differences between officers here in Hawaii and that of mainland communities is that being on an island, our officers are rooted in the communities they serve. Although they may reside in different parts of the island outside of the district they are assigned to, they still interact with the community on a daily basis, even off duty. Their children attend the same schools, they shop in the same stores, eat in the same restaurants, and so they have a vested interest in the community, making their interactions with the public less contentious.

I again wish to sincerely thank all of the men and women of the Hawaii Police Department for all their hard work and the sacrifices they make daily in the performance of their duties. As I’ve stated in the past and will continue to state in the future, it is only through their dedication and commitment to the citizens of Hawaii Island that make the Hawaii Police Department the outstanding organization it is today, one that the community can be proud of.

A special message from Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim

On behalf of the people of the County of Hawaii, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our Hometown Heroes, the Hawaii Police Department, who report every day to keep our community safe.

On countless occasions, I have watched the courageous actions of our sworn officers. These men and women in blue never know what the day will bring, and they serve our people unselfishly and willingly.

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With great sadness I reflect on the 2nd anniversary of the death of our brave young Officer Bronson Kaliloa, who made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of a dangerous criminal. His life was cut short, but his cherished memory lives on eternally in our hearts.

We in the County of Hawaii salute Officer Kaliloa, and all of his colleagues of the Hawaii Police Department for their tremendous dedication to making Hawaii Island a safer place to live, providing the highest level of police service to our community.

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