Pictured from left to right: Sgt. Lance Okasaki, Bryan Ingeniero, Police Commission Chair Mary K. Hertog, Mandie Manuel, Deputy Chief Michael Contrades, Jessica Herman, School Resource Officer Morris Unutoa, Carla Mae Satumba, Micah Guillermo, School Resource Officer Andrew Muraoka, William Andres, Jesse Cardenas, County Council Chair Mel Rapozo, Brant Tanaka, Ayden Bernardino, Sgt. Anthony Morita and Krystah Morita. Not shown are graduates Dylan Martin-Lazaro and Jack Machorek who were unable to attend the ceremony. Contributed photo

Twelve students graduated from the Kaua‘i Police Department’s inaugural Junior Police Academy class on Friday, Jan. 5, at a ceremony held in the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations Center, according to a county press release.

“Investing in our youth today, means a brighter future for tomorrow,” said Deputy Chief Michael Contrades as he addressed the students. “To our graduates, we hope that you enjoyed your time learning more about your Kaua‘i Police Department. We strived to provide you with an insight of police work to spark a deeper interest and understanding of those who work in law enforcement. On behalf of Kaua‘i Police Chief Darryl Perry, I commend you for completing the 64-hour curriculum, and welcome you to our ‘ohana.”

The graduates, grades nine through 12, were honored with a lei and a certificate marking their completion of the 8-day training program held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

The following students graduated on Friday: William Andres, Ayden Bernardino, Jesse Cardenas, Micah Guillermo, Jessica Herman, Bryan Ingeniero, Jack Machorek, Mandie Manuel, Dylan Martin-Lazaro, Krystah Morita, Carla Mae Satumba and Brant Tanaka.

KPD’s Junior Police Academy is a new program under the Kaua‘i Police Activities League designed to introduce students to police operations and law enforcement functions through both classroom and field instruction. The curriculum includes instruction on the criminal justice system, crime scene investigations, first aid CPR and AED, basic evidence recovery, ocean safety techniques, active threat response, and more.

The program is free and serves as an introductory course to KPD’s Explorer Program, which provides young adults ages 14 through 20 an opportunity to explore a career in law enforcement.

Additional sponsors and partners of the first Junior Police Academy class include the Kaua‘i Fire Department, KFD’s Ocean Safety Bureau, YWCA, and Sone’s Deli and Catering.

The next class for KPD’s Junior Police Academy has not yet been scheduled, however details will be announced as more information becomes available.

For more information on KPD’s Junior Police Academy, call Sgt. Lance Okasaki at 241-1647.