Hawaii News

New year, new hires: KPD welcomes its largest recruit class since pre-COVID

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Back row from left: Anthony Hernandez, Myles Mendoza, Kaimani Tecson, Brian Nono, Shawn Rabaino, Lovinna Cayabyab. Front row from left: Frederick Etrata, Matthew VanAken, Lawrence Defontorum, Kasen Delos Reyes, Ruth Benitez, Mystiana Victorino. Photo Courtesy: Kaua‘i Police Department

The Kaua‘i Police Department begins 2024 with 12 new hires, including eight police officer recruits for its 100th Police Academy class, the largest since the pandemic.

Candidates are selected based on their character and willingness to serve their community. Each applicant must pass a written examination and physical agility test in order to qualify for the Police Academy.

Consisting of seven men and one woman, the recruit class has six months of classroom work and physical training ahead of them. Upon graduating from the academy, they will be paired with a seasoned patrol officer for immersive field training experience.


In addition to the new recruits, KPD also welcomes two Public Safety Workers, one Criminalist and a Public Information Officer to its ‘ohana.

The group of new hires is diverse, with seven from Kaua‘i, one from O‘ahu, two from Hawaiʻi Island, one from Texas and one from California. Each brings their own set of professional and life experience to complement the existing dedicated staff of KPD.

“Each one of you matters, and what you do matters,” Police Chief Todd Raybuck addressed the new hires on their first day of training. He encouraged the group that every interaction is a chance to be a positive force in the community.


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