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Members of the public helped the Hawai’i Police Department celebrate Police Week on Monday (May 16) at the Hilo police station.
The outdoor ceremony honored four Big Island police officers killed in the line of duty: Manuel Cadinha (1918), William “Red” Oili (1936), Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku (1990), and Kenneth Keliipio (1997).
Police Week is a nationally recognized week of activities in support of police work and in recognition of officers who have died or been disabled in the line of duty. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed every May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week it falls in as Police Week.
At the Hilo ceremony, Mayoral Aide Desiree Cruz thanked police, their families and civilian staff for their sacrifices and support that “give us that wonderful sense of peace and security that we feel and are so blessed to have here on our island.”
Oili’s grandson, Daniel Oili, and great-granddaughter, Raynette Taketa, lit candles in memory of Officers Oili, Cadinha, Jitchaku and Keliipio. The four fallen officers were also honored with a 21-gun salute. Uniformed police officers in attendance then saluted during the playing of “Taps.”
A similar ceremony was held Tuesday (May 17) in Kona.