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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 8:19 a.m., Wednesday, May 3, 2006

HPD honors officer of the year

Advertiser Staff

Josephine Kaanehe, who taught anti-drug courses to over a thousand students last year, was honored today as the Honolulu Police Department's Officer of the Year.

The 200 Club, which recognizes HPD employees who have distinguished themselves through explemplary performances, also recognized three others at its annual awards breakfast today at Waialae Country Club: Melvin Nakaoka, reserve officer of the year; Randall Gratz, police parent of the year, and Michelle Yu, civilian employee of the year.

Kaanehe, a 19-year HPD veteran assigned to the Juvenile Services Division's Drug Abuse Resistence Education or DARE unit, taught 38 anti-drug courses, each 10-12 weeks long, to 1,200 students last year. She also serves as a DARE mentor, training officers to become instructors.

Nakaoka, an architect, put in 238 hours last year as a volunteer police officer, twice the amount required of volunteer officers. During the past year, he received four commendations and six letters of appreciation for his work.

Gratz, a detective, was honored for his work with a Boy Scout troop in Mililani, which recently completed a 50-mile hike through Kilauea Volcano National Park.

Yu has been the go-to person in HPD's media liaison office.