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Hawaii police department recruits going on duty

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Video by David Corrigan | Big Island Video News

The 77th Recruit Class (left to right): Seated: Bradden T. Kimura, Danton K. Zimmermann, Michael W. Matsumura, Aron M. M. Tomota, Steven J. Burkey Standing: Andrew D. Gabriel, Shea L. A. Nactor, Michael K. Rutkowski, Brett P. Winther, Blake M. Ragocos, Gabriel D. Wilson, Adrian C. Ruiz, Joshua D. Grotkin, Aaron P. Abalos, Paul R. Endean, Kaeo J. Drummondo, Cory A. Gray.


The 17 members of the Hawai’i Police Department’s 77th Recruit Class were recognized Thursday (January 7) during ceremonies held at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

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

During Thursday’s luncheon ceremony, Chief Harry S. Kubojiri told the recruits 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.”

Police Commissioner Anita Politano Steckel encouraged the new officers to hold on to their enthusiasm and to keep learning. “Nothing is routine,” she said.

Mayor Billy Kenoi told the recruits that because of their training, they now have expertise in police work. “Thanks for your commitment, thanks for your dedication and thanks for your service to the County of Hawai’i,” he said.

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 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.”

Three of the recruits received special recognition for their excellence in training. They were Burkey, who excelled in physical fitness training, Kaeo J. Drummondo, who excelled in academic training, and Michael W. Matsumura, who 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.

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