HONOLULU (KHON2) — When an officer is killed in the line of duty, it’s not only their immediate family that grieves, but their family of brothers and sisters in blue.
Retired detective Gary Lahens said he’s worked with both of the officers who were killed Sunday, and even though he’s no longer with the Honolulu Police Department, he said the loss two young lives in the police force has had a devastating impact on the police community.
“It’s something that’s very traumatic. It stays with everyone in the department,” said Lahens. “To see what happened yesterday, and those officers were very young and I knew them.”
He said he’s worked with both Officer Kalama and Officer Enriquez during his time in the criminal investigations division. Lahens said Officer Enriquez was enthusiastic, and once you met her, you’d remember her. He said Officer Kalama was a nice guy who did what he could to protect.
He said the officers that responded that day used their training and did the best they could.
“That’s why you’re an HPD officer. All those officers that were proceeding that day, they knew things could have happened, but they have to. A fellow officer is down. The public is in danger. That’s our job. We have to go,” said Lahens.
Lahens said working as a detective, he’s had his own experience of seeing an officer killed in the line of duty. Back in 2001, a young officer Dannygriggs Padayao was run over by a drunk driver as he set up flares to direct traffic.
“I got out of my car, and I looked down at the fire… the EMS guys administrating first aid. I looked down, and I saw the lapel saying HPD,” said Lehans.
“You know I just felt my body shaking, and because when I looked further it was someone that was very dear to me, someone that I worked with, and still to this day I remembered…” said Lehans.
He says when an officer is killed, everyone in blue pulls together.
“The support is there, you know, remember the chief said HPD is a ohana, it,s a huge family,”Retired Detective Gary Lahens
There’s even an HPD chaplain and counseling services available for police officers who responded to yesterday’s event and may need it.
“Although we’re well trained, things can happen,” said Lahens. “You may go out one day, kiss your families and don’t come back.”
“When things happen like this, we all come, We are trying to help each other,” said Lahens.