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Father in graduating class will join son at Honolulu Police Department

  • By Craig T. Kojima / ckojima@staradvertiser.com

    Wendell Ko of Pearl City graduates with the 193rd police recruit class on Tuesday afternoon at the Koolau Ballroom and Conference Center, and will soon join the police department about seven years after his son Jonathan Ko, did the same.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Wendell Ko, joins the ranks of the Honolulu Police Department this week — about seven years after his son, Jonathan Ko, did the same thing.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Wendell Ko, joins the ranks of the Honolulu Police Department this week — about seven years after his son, Jonathan Ko, did the same thing.

There are many sons who follow in the footsteps of their fathers in joining the Honolulu Police Department.

Now a father is joining his son at HPD at the age of 58.

Wendell Ko of Pearl City graduates with the 193rd police recruit class on Tuesday afternoon at the Koolau Ballroom and Conference Center, and will soon join the police department about seven years after his son Jonathan Ko, did the same.

He will be among a graduating class of 38 recruits from diverse backgrounds, including a former accountant, teacher, baker, social worker, dog handler, emergency medical technician, flight attendant, private investigator, and military service members.

“I think he can do it, even at the age of 58,” said son Jonathan Ko, who works in district 8, serving Kapolei. “He’s in good physical shape…I think he’s ready for service.”

Jonathan Ko, 28, warned his dad that the job can be stressful and demanding, but was proud to see him get through the challenges of training, both physically and mentally.

The elder Ko, having formerly run a plexiglass business as well as a spearfishing and diving shop, was in semi-retirement when he got the flash of inspiration to join the police department. He said he decided instead of kicking back, he wanted to serve the community.

Now, he said, he and his son can watch each other’s backs.

There is no age limit for police recruits, as long as they are able to pass the physical ability test.

HPD is now accepting lateral transfers, with compensation for up to nine years of experience, from other law enforcement agencies, as long as they meet minimum qualifications. More information on joining HPD is available at joinhonolulupd.org.

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