Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Friday, April 14, 2017

Hawai`i Police Captain Kenneth Quiocho oversees the Ka`u District with much enthusiasm.
Photo by Ann Bosted
CAPTAIN KENNETH QUIOCHO is the new leader of Ka`u District for the Hawai`i Police Department. Ka’u police officers have state of the art equipment, regular training and are held to high standards, yet there are limitations and difficulties to accomplishing their jobs, said Quiocho, after leading the district for just 30 days when he talked to The Ka’u Calendar newspaper.
     Quiocho, showing obvious enthusiasm for Ka`u, its police force and his position, outlined his leadership goals and frankly discussed strengths and weaknesses. 
     “We have to do more with less,” he explained, referring to lean budgets in the face of the need to respond to crimes and other emergencies in Ka’u. 
Ocean View Mini Station for Ka`u police. Photo by Ann Bosted
     Quiocho has covered a lot of ground since he joined the Hawai`i Police Department 25 years ago. He has served in many branches, including vice, traffic, patrol, and investigations as a detective. He has been based in Hamakua, South Kohala, Kona, Hilo and now Ka’u. This range of experience, he opines, has made him more “well rounded.”  
     “Now, from the perspective of my new position, I can develop my leadership style and vision for the department based on Hawai`i Police Department’s mission and vision statements. I am a product of mentorship.  I was fortunate that I had supervisors that observed my work ethic and took time to mold me.”
     Living in Honoka’a means a long daily commute for Quiocho, which he does not begrudge.  His wife, Leslie, a graphics artist, has close family in the area. Their oldest son, a college graduate lives in Texas, their second son is at college in Oregon and the two younger sons attend Kamehameha School in Keaau. Quiocho’s parents are from the Big Island, although he was born and raised in San Diego. He came to think of the Big Island as his home during family vacations, and then, at the first opportunity, returned for good. 
     Before taking on the leadership of the Ka’u District, Quiocho worked on maintaining Hawai`i’s qualifications with the national and international organization, Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. CALEA maintains standards for accreditation by conducting periodic audits and also requires training of police personnel to ensure that the best policing standards are met.
Ocean View residents gathered at the community center  in February
to talkwith Mayor Harry Kim about policing in the neighborhood.
Photo by Ann Bosted
     Quiocho’s job meant a lot of writing of policies and procedures, but it gave him an insight into the details of the profession. “Being accredited with CALEA is a very big deal,” he said. “It made me realize that there is a lot of accountability in what we do”. 
     “We were accredited in 2012, and that led to the tightening up of our police procedures and that meant revisions, and then we were re-accredited in 2015. Independent assessors go through and scrutinize everything we have and how we do “it.”  The  “it” means updated training for all law enforcement officers, which makes us all better at our job. I think the audits are fair and reasonable – everything CALEA asks for can be accomplished. “
     Asked what made him join Hawai`i County's police force, Quiocho replied simply: “To be a cop you have to want to help people.” Asked to elaborate, Quiocho said: “It’s a tough job and cops work hard. You will never get rich being a police officer, but the satisfaction comes from helping people, protecting people and working to establish partnerships to fight crime. Cops risk being assaulted all the time– recently we had three officers that were injured by violent suspects when effecting an arrest. One of my responsibilities is to think about officer safety.”
    Modern equipment and techniques can help police in tracking down criminals and solving cases, but, according to Quiocho, there are limitations. “Our equipment is constantly improving.  This month our police radio was switched from analog to digital. Before that anyone could buy equipment from Radio Shack and listen in on our conversations on analog.
    “We have good digital cameras, we can do some forensic recovery of evidence such as tire tracks, fingerprints, we have DNA swabbing kits, but often that is not enough just to be able to recover the evidence.  For example, for DNA evidence to be helpful, we also need a more complete DNA data base for comparison. DNA testing is costly. The Lab in Honolulu is overwhelmed with requests for testing, so we often have to contract with private labs and send evidence to them. On one particular case we spent about $60,000 in testing.   
   “We can’t solve a crime in an hour like they do on TV.  That’s fiction. We are bound by rules of evidence and we have to stretch our resources to cover the job.  In real life, you have to think outside the box. We have to develop different ways of getting the job done more efficiently. We have to develop a can do attitude”. 
    Quiocho wants to spend time getting to know the residents of Ka’u. “Each town, Na’alehu, Pahala, Ocean View and Discovery Harbor, are all quite different from each other. Each town has an interesting network of people, but I can’t experience them when I’m behind my desk.  We are more effective when working with the community to establish partnerships, which is why I depend on my two community policing officers to work with our community. Officer Tayamen is the community police officer for Na’alehu and Pahala, while officer Tomota works in Ocean View and Discovery Harbor.
A new police station in Ocean View is not in the
county plans over the next few years.
Photo by Ann Bosted
      “Community police officers try to get involved in community events and school events by working with the school principals. In Ocean View we are currently working with the Neighborhood Watch Program.  We, the police and the community, need to be more organized. We have established neighborhood crime patrols, a crime newsletter that is sent out electronically, so members of the community can keep abreast of what crime is going on and get involved. I would like to do more with community messaging.”
     Asked about how he would handle juvenile offenders, Quiocho replied, “We need to establish youth programs. We need to keep our kids busy and out of mischief. I would like them to look at us as people they can come to for help. We need to get the message out – We want to work with them and are not going to take you to jail.
     “I am always interested in getting people to work with me as a team. You need empathy. With empathy people will open up and want to assist the police.  
    “Working with the public gives us more opportunities to solve crimes. We can’t catch them all, but working together we can get more accomplished."   
    Asked about the new police sub-station that was petitioned for by the Ocean View community, Quiocho was firm. “There is no money for a new sub station.” He did, however, say that the Police Department is looking into making the existing Ocean View Mini Police Station (a rarely used store in Pohue Plaza Shopping Center that is rented by the county) more “operational.”
    “Its crazy to have officers drive back to Na’alehu to do paperwork. We are working with the Police Computer Section on some options to assist us. They will be looking at the signal strength in the area and trying to get us some better coverage in the area if possible." Quiocho was optimistic about the support he is getting from his superiors. 
      “The Chief is listening to the needs of the Ka’u District, and he has given us more personnel.  I now have 25 sworn officers reporting to me. He is concerned about crime here, and balances that out with the needs of eight other districts that also need more manpower.  He understands that everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law, and that he has to allocate resources where crime is rising and where the needs are greatest.  It is not an easy job, considering all the factors and decisions that have to be made.” 
Trojan Volleyball,  with Jacob Flores, is winning and
headed into the high schoool championships.
Photo by Pam Taylor
     “We have a detective from Kona who has been assigned to help with us with cases from Ka’u, so we are essentially sharing him with Kona.  When we develop leads and suspects, he steps in to help us.”
    While Quiocho clearly needs more resources, he is also proud of his arsenal, in terms of equipment and trained officers. “If all we had was a hammer,” he grins, “then we would have to treat everything as a nail.” His satisfied grin clearly belies his stoic choice of words.
     Quiocho underlined his down-to-earth philosophy of police work when he said: “There are lots of hurdles to overcome. We can accomplish them one at a time.  I believe that if we take care of the small stuff, the big stuff will take care of itself.”

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Pete DaCalio and Travis Taylor reach high to put
the ball back on Christian Liberty.
Photo by Pam Taylor

                                                                        KA'U HIGH TROJANS BOYS VOLLEYBALL TEAM continued a winning streak Thursday night at the Ka`u Regional Gym, beating Christian Liberty Academy 25-23, 25-17 and 25-14. The Trojans have lost just one game as they head into championship play.

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EASTER FUN DAY for the public will be held Saturday, April 15 at Pahala Preschool on Hu`apala Street from 10 a.m. until pau. Games, music Easter Egg Hunts for keiki and seniors. lucky number drawings, food, music led by Calvin Ponce, games for everyone, prizes.

CONTENDERS FOR THE MISS KA`U COFFEE TITLES have been named. The pageant will be held on Saturday, May 13 at Ka`u Coffee Mill. Pageant director Trini Marques named the young women in categories of competition. Competing for Miss Ka`u Coffee are: Jami Beck, Alysha Gustafson-Savelia and Shanese Tailon. Competing for Jr. Miss Ka`u Coffee are Cristina Kawewehi, Calaysa Koi and Jacie Umemoto. Competing for Miss Peaberry are Ava Estabilio-Lazar, Melo Keohuloa, Adryana Lorenzo, Gwendolyn McEroy and Jazmyn Navarro. Competing for Miss Ka`u Coffee Flower are Lyla-mae Lazar, Lilianna Marques amd Evalynn Ornellas.
       Winners will receive scholarships from sponsors in the community.
Contenders for Miss Ka`u Coffee titles began practice Thursday night
for the pageant to take place on Saturday May 13 at Ka`u Coffee
Mill under the direction of Trini Marques.
Photo by Julia Neal

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Recycling at Nā‘ālehu School, Sat, April 15, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nā‘ālehu School Gym. Redeem your HI-5 sorted by type; receive 5 cents per container and additional 20 cents per pound on all aluminum. Atlas Recycling donates 20 cents per pound on all aluminum redeemed to the school. 939-2413, ext. 230.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku on Sat, April 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., is a moderately-difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on Kahuku Unit's newest trail, Pu'u Kahuku. Enter the Kahuku unit of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (uphill) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, rain gear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended.

SUNRISE SERVICE will be held Easter Sunday morning at Punalu`u Black Sand Beach. All denominations are invited. Time is 6 a.m. with music and prayer and morning refreshments.

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