Officers from all over the country gathered to form a “thin blue line” around fallen Honolulu police officer Tiffany-Victoria B. Enriquez, whose funeral service and end of watch ceremony were today.
First, they formed a single file line and walked one-by-one into the Diamond Head Mortuary to pay their respects to Enriquez, who was the first female officer in Hawaii ever to be killed in the line of duty. Later in the day, after attending a moving celebration of life ceremony at Diamond Head Memorial Park, law enforcement and first responders lined the street in front of the Honolulu Police Department Headquarters on Beretania Street to witness Enriquez’s end of watch ceremony. The “thin blue line” is an expression of solidarity and pride by law enforcement and first responders who recognize that they are part of only a very few who are responsible for holding back the chaos.
Enriquez, 38, was fatally shot Jan. 19 along with Honolulu police officer Kaulike Kalama at a Diamond Head home where a handyman is alleged to also have killed himself and his landlady, attacked another resident in the home and started a fire that destroyed five homes and damaged several others.
Enriquez and Kalama brought the count of HPD officers killed in the line of duty to 50.
As many as 16 Honolulu police officers have been killed in the line of duty by shooting since 1903, but it’s been nearly nearly 17 years between the last Honolulu police shooting and the Jan. 19 fatal shootings. It’s been more than 56 years since the last double homicide by shooting of Honolulu police officers in the same incident. That’s part of the reason that Honolulu police gave their own one of the largest sendoffs in modern times.
The celebration of life ceremony, which included remarks from Enriquez’ friends and family members, was mostly upbeat as those who spoke recalled Enriquez’s “infectious smile,” “sassy personality,” “bravery” and “kindness.”
They recalled that the seven-year-veteran of HPD was an outstanding cop as well as a loving family woman. She was the mother of three daughters and had a grandson, with a second grandchild on the way.
But there were few dry eyes at the end of watch ceremony, which took place just after 1 p.m.
Solemn faces watched as a motorcade led by solo bike officers escorted a hearse carrying Enriquez to the front of the headquarters where a police dispatcher called out her name. When Enriquez didn’t respond, many observers shed tears. A dispatcher thanked her for her service and concluded that it was the end of Enriquez’s watch.
Enriquez’s family got out of their cars and were escorted to the middle of the street in front of police headquarters, where rows of law enforcement officers stood at attention and community members gathered to pay their respects. Two helicopters dropped flower petals.
After the ceremony, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard broke her formal stance.
She waved and blew a kiss to Enriquez and her family. During a Jan. 19 press conference, a visibly moved Ballard had said Enriquez and Kalama “were like my kids. They were with me for five years at the receiving desk when I was a major.”