Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, Mayor Derek Kawakami, Charles Bedford Jr., James Paterson, Manuel Rivera, James Gause Jr., Jordan Kerry, Tyler Uratsuka, and Council Member Felicia Cowden. Photo courtesy County of Kaua‘i

The Kaua‘i Police Department held its 90th Police Recruit Graduation ceremony at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall last week.

Charles Bedford Jr., James Gause Jr., Jordan Kerry, James Paterson, Manuel Rivera, and Tyler Uratsuka were announced as the department’s 90th Recruit Class in the company of their family, friends, and colleagues on Feb. 28.

Assistant Chief Roy Asher expressed congratulatory remarks on behalf of Acting Chief of Police Michael Contrades at last week’s ceremony.

“These are very challenging times to be a police officer, but I won’t say it’s a thankless job, because for me it’s been very rewarding and a pleasure to serve,” Asher said. “As officers, while we don’t expect recognition for our efforts, acknowledgement will come at the most unexpected times. On behalf of the Kaua‘i Police Department, as men and women, civilians and sworn, I welcome you to the family.”

Three special awards were presented to two recruits during the ceremony. Tyler Uratsuka received the Physical Fitness Award for demonstrating a high level of physical abilities on a consistent basis during their training. Charles Bedford Jr. received the Marksmanship Award for his outstanding skill level in firearms proficiency and safe handling. He was also honored as the Most Outstanding Recruit for excelling in all areas of the rigorous training while building camaraderie in the group.

Tyler Uratsuka, Manuel Rivera, James Paterson, Jordan Kerry, James Gause Jr., and Charles Bedford Jr. being sworn in by Judge Lisa Arin. Photo courtesy County of Kaua‘i

The keynote address was given by Sgt. John Mullineaux, who was chosen by the recruits. The class also chose its class speaker, James Gause Jr., who expressed brief remarks for his fellow graduates.

Guest speakers during the ceremony included Kaua‘i County Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, Kaua‘i Police Commission Chair Mary K. Hertog, and Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami.

“I was honored to first meet the 90th Recruit Class last week at the Police Chief Challenge at Vidinha Stadium, where they included me in a series of training exercises,” Kawakami said. “I was very impressed and amazed at their integrity and ability to work together, because by the time we took our victory lap, every single one of these graduates were there to support their brothers. We know how challenging it is especially in today’s day and age where Kaua‘i is changing. But we have the very best and, together, we are one team. On behalf of the Office of the Mayor, I’m so proud of each and every one of these brave hearts. Thank you for your service and we wish you the very best in your future careers.”

The graduation concluded with the swearing-in of officers led by Judge Lisa Arin followed by the ceremonial pinning of the badges.

The police recruit graduation ceremony is the culmination of six months of classroom and reality-based training. Following graduation, each police services officer was assigned a field-training officer to shadow for the next four months. Upon successful completion of the 16-week program, they will become full-fledged officers.

For more information on becoming a Kaua‘i police officer, visit KPD’s website at www.kauai.gov/police or call 241-1669.