'Coolest cop' says skateboarding, Hawaii upbringing help him reach community

'Coolest cop' says skateboarding, Hawaii upbringing help him reach community

SEATTLE, WASH. (HawaiiNewsNow) - He's been called the "coolest cop ever," and it's little wonder why.

Craig Hanaumi, a former Honolulu police officer who now serves on the Bellevue, Wash. police force, is getting national attention for his ability to connect with young people through skateboarding.

The 40-year-old is a community police officer and quips that boardslides and kickflips – skateboarding tricks – give him a chance to reach teens in a positive, tangible way.

Hanaumi credits his Hawaii upbringing for his dedication to service, and his love of skateboarding. "From the ages of 10 to 13, all I did was skate every day," he told the Today Show.

Hanaumi has been on the Bellevue's police force for nearly a decade, and described his job as "nontraditional," giving him a chance to address social and community issues.

"We're a liaison for the community," Hanaumi told Today. "We can identify a problem and become the constant contract for it. Our job is about outreach."

Hanaumi also calls what he does for a living "serving and protecting with aloha."

"I'm not exceptional or different from any other officer," he says. "There's thousands of officers who do outreach and make positive impacts like how I do every day. And they don't have any recognition. They don't even want it."

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