Chief Nakamura gave care, quality to force
Former Police Chief Michael Nakamura, who died last week at the young age of 58, did much for the department he led. He brought community policing to the fore, and he put a face on Honolulu's proud, but sometimes unapproachable, police department.
Indeed, Nakamura exemplified public service: as a 28-year veteran of the police department; as an advocate for the disabled; as a member of the state school board and as a candidate for the Honolulu City Council.
Undaunted by the challenges of spinal muscular atrophy, which eventually forced him to rely on a motorized scooter to get around, Nakamura remained a vigorous and popular leader of the force he loved.
Friends particularly remembered his commitment to calling every member of the department on their birthday — a small gesture that reminded them that the "Chief" cared about them and was thinking of their welfare.
Ever smiling, ever cheerful, Nakamura personified the upbeat quality and commitment to public service that is truly inspirational. He will be missed.