Memorial Working Group

Memorial Working Group

House Concurrent Resolution 139 designates the Department of Accounting and General Services as the lead agency to work with the Foundation, the county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, SHOPO and COPS, to plan and construct the Memorial.

HCR 139 further directs that DAGS submit a report on plans, findings, recommendations, projected costs, and any implementing legislation to the Legislature no later than 20 days before convening of the 2011 Regular Session.  DAGS has determined that this report shall be submitted NLT December 6, 2010.

On June 24, 2010, state Comptroller and DAGS Director Russ Saito convened the first Memorial Working Group as directed by HCR 139.  As a result, it was determined that without unnecessary delay, the Memorial Working Group shall:  1) designate the area the Memorial will be situated, 2) fully examine and select the final Memorial design renderings; and 3) assist DAGS with the submission of the final report to the 2011 Legislature.

The following individuals presently comprise the Memorial Working Group:

  • Russ Saito, State Comptroller and Director of DAGS
  • Joan Gribbin-Aiu, Executive Director, The Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation
  • Louis Kealoha, Chief of Police, Honolulu Police Department
  • Gary Yabuta, Chief of Police, Maui Police Department
  • Harry Kubojiri, Chief of Police, Hawaii Police Department
  • Darryl Perry, Chief of Police, Kauai Police Department
  • James Propotnick, Deputy Director, Department of Public Safety
  • Gervin Miyamoto, United States Marshal, District of Hawaii
  • Tenari Maafala, President, State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers
  • Donna Borengasser, Director, Concerns of Police Survivors – Hawaii

On July 9, 2010, Mr. Russ Saito called a meeting  to discuss and consider site selections in and around the capitol grounds which might prove suitable for the Memorial.  Attending were Joan Gribbin-Aiu and Ku`uhaku Park (representing the Foundation), Donna Borengasser (representing COPS), Ralph Morita (DAGS Planning Branch Chief), Russ W. Stephenson (state Historical Preservation Divison/DLNR), and Mr. Saito.  Those attending toured the capitol grounds and identified several possible site locations (the Diamond Head corners at Punchbowl Street, the Hotel Street walkway behind the Capitol, and an area adjacent to the Korean and Vietnam Memorials).  Mr. Saito also suggested that the Memorial could be built at or near the Kalanimoku Building.  Mr. Morita advised that the cost for the Memorial would be substantial and indicated that in 2010 dollars, the Korean and Vietnam Memorial would cost approximately $1.7 million.  He also stressed that the Memorial would need to comply with the State Capitol District Master Plan.  All attending agreed to meet with their respective membership to discuss the areas under consideration.

On September 1, 2010, the Board of Directors for the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation met with Russ Saito at the grounds of the Kalanimoku Building (located one block Diamond Head of the State Capitol at the intersection of Beretania and Punchbowl Streets.  The purpose of the meeting was to select, preliminarily, possible alternative sites for the Memorial (given the view plane and height restrictions imposed by the Capitol District Management).  The Board of Directors toured the various sites on the Capitol grounds (mentioned above) as well as likely sites in and around the Kalanimoku Building itself (which is considered part of the Capitol District but without similar view plane, slope, or height restrictions).   The Board unanimously decided that for purposes of the Foundation’s vote, it would strongly recommend that the Memorial be located on the grassy expanse on the Diamond Head side of the Kalanimoku Building.  This area, still on state land, is within the Capitol District, but also co-located with the Frank Fasi Municipal Building and other City and County and State offices.  Final decision on placement of the Memorial will be determined by the entire Law Enforcement Memorial Working Group.

On November 5, 2010, Executive Director Joan Gribbin-Aiu met with Assistant Professor Kris Palagi at the University of Hawaii School of Architecture to kick off the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Design Competition.  At the School of Architecture auditorium, before 200 students, Joan gave the competitors a heartfelt story of the Memorial’s humble beginnings, its support by the state Legislature and community, and its purpose  to pay purpetual tribute to our fallen, their families, and those who continue to protect and serve us every day.  Thereafter, Professor Palagi gave the students specific marching orders with students collaborating in smaller groups in four class/workrooms complete with maps of the proposed site, tracing paper, computers, and drawing instruments.  Students worked throughout the first day with the School providing pizza for lunch.  Once the students complete their design renditions for examination, the School of Architecture will form a jury of professors to select five (5) finalists.  Those finalists will then have an opportunity to produce their design in 3D scale models for presentation to the Foundation’s Board of Directors as well as the Memorial Working Group.  Competition and finalists should be completed by November 30, 2010.

On November 30, 2010, the Foundation’s Board of Directors met with Asst. Professor Kris Palagi of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s School of Architecture where five quarter final Memorial designs were on display in subdued lighting.  That evening, Prof. Palagi advised that the students responsible for the five designs would showcase their models for the Board.  The five designs were displayed as scaled models with the student designers for each model presenting their inspiration, architectural focus, and thought processes in designing their Memorials.  All five Memorial models were Outstanding efforts.  After the students gave their respective presentations, Prof. Palagi excused them giving the Board additional guidance on how the previous jury of professors narrowed the field from 35 + Memorial designs to five quarter finalists.  Thereafter, the Board took time to view the various models, independent of student and staff, and after much deliberation, decided on three Memorial designs.  Although the students had been excused almost an hour earlier (they were told that Prof. Palagi would notify them of the Board’s selection)  unbeknownst to the Board, they chose to wait.  Thus, when the selections were made, the students responsible for the three final Memorial designs were exuberant with excitement and congratulated as Memorial design semi-finalists.  Students were then advised that their models would be required for display on 12.11.10 at the Sheraton Waikiki Grand Ballroom during the Gala Benefit.  At that time, guests at the Event would be allowed to view the three designs, speak with the student designers, and vote for the final design.  The Board wishes the three semi-finalists the Best of Luck!

Further Memorial Working Group updates will be reported accordingly.