Hundreds Honor Fallen Officer Eric Fontes

Casket of Officer Fontes arrives on Molokai (Source: Honolulu Police Dept.)
Casket of Officer Fontes arrives on Molokai (Source: Honolulu Police Dept.)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The final roll call for 45 year old Eric Fontes came over loud speakers outside the main police station this morning for hundreds of Honolulu's finest and the public to hear.

Harold Naone, the surpervising police radio dispatcher announced over the police frequency across the isle, "Command Console Calling Officer Eric Fontes, Badge number 2261. This is your final roll call. Make it 10-1 sir."

HPD Officer John Frierson knew Fontes. "It doesn't really hit you until they start calling Eric's name and then that's when it really hits you that he's really gone," he said.

Officers who were ordered to "present arms," saluted the seven year police veteran and Hawaii National Guard member while a procession, led by HPD Solo Bike officers, carried Fontes' body in a hearse past many of his friends and family.

HPD Major, Ray Ancheta, was heard radioing back to dispatch, "1800. Calling Command Console. Officer Eric Fontes. End of Watch. September 13, 2011. At 2318 hours."

The end of Fontes' watch came that fateful night after a truck slammed into him during a traffic stop in Ko Olina. It's a painful reminder of the dangerous work these men and women do.

Frierson said, "It makes you really understand how short life really is," and added, "just live everyday to its fullest."

The dispatcher's words conveyed Fontes' reputation as a man of faith and friendship.

Naone stated over the radio, "Officer Fontes you said, meet you once, you're a friend. Meet you twice, you're family."

"He used to come to the academy to workout on a regular basis," lamented Frierson. And alot of times, you just say words. But in Eric's case, he was genuinely a really good fellow," he said smiling.

In the department's museum, you'll already find Officer Fonte's name up on the Memorial Wall. He is the 44th officer, in department history, to die in the line of duty. Sometime next week, his name will be added to the wall along the outside the main station on Beretania Street.

Honolulu Police Sergeant Kim Buffett said of the ceremony, "It was very touching. And it was so nice to see fellow officers out there, standing and coming out during the workday, putting on the uniform and paying their last respects to Eric, and showing the family that we are out there, and we are a family. And that we've got each others back.

The dispatcher's final words that brought an end to the HPD farewell tradition were, "Ahui hou. Till we meet again. Aloha Oi. Aloha Oi," said Naone.

Fontes body was taken to the Honolulu International aiport and transported home to Molokai following the ceremony.

The Fontes family will hold funeral services for Eric on Saturday, October 8th.

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