HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. without a memorial for its fallen law enforcement officers from all branches, but a fundraiser on Saturday night offered a huge boost for a permanent tribute.
62 law enforcement officers in Hawaii have been killed in the line duty. The latest one is Honolulu Police Department officer Eric Fontes. Now there is a push to raise private funds for a state law enforcement memorial.
"We looked into it, talked to some people at the capitol, and everything went great. Here we are tonight with 450 people raising money for this," said Joan Gribbin-Aiu, of the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation.
Guests gathered at Washington Place for the second annual Remembrance Gala. In April, Governor Abercrombie signed a bill to have the tribute built on state capitol grounds.
"Governor Abercrombie was really nice to sign the bill giving us land right behind the Department of Accounting and General Services," said Sidney Hayakawa of the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation.
The groundbreaking ceremony happened in May. Organizers hoped to raise $200,000 at the gala through sponsorships and a silent auction featuring firearms.
"Three AR-15 rifles from Security Equipment donated to our auction and a Sig Sauer handgun and a Colt AR-15 that were donated from Magnum Firearms," said Kuuhaku Park of the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation.
Some stars from Hawaii Five-0 like Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim showed their support.
"We have a construction company, the U.S. Corps of Engineers and design build Systems, a local company, who've agreed to build the memorial for us," said foundation advisor Thomas Aiu.