VA security officers look like police but are DOD staff
I'm a veteran and just came back from the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Honolulu. They have three full-time policemen working in a federal office. Why? That is a total waste of taxpayers' money. There is no need for any policeman there because the veterans are all sick or ill, some without legs or arms, and they pose no threat to anybody. This federal operation has about a dozen hired cops down at the gate, and they could use a couple of those guys if they need any police help.
Answer: The police officers might look like they are part of the Honolulu Police Department, but they are employed by the Department of Defense.
"They work with the provost marshal in the security aspects of both DOD and the VA," said Fred Ballard, spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs' Pacific Island Health Care System.
One officer is stationed at each entrance of the VA facility and one at the medical clinic, he said, adding that this has been standard practice since the facility opened.
The officers have the power, equipment and training of "regular" police officers, including blue uniforms and badges.
Ballard disputed your assertion that there is no need for such security, noting there are mental health patients being treated at the facility. In general, in today's world, they are needed for the safety of patients and employees as well as for building security, traffic control, etc., he said.
Q: Where can I find Ben Cayetano's autobiography, "Ben: A Memoir From Street Kid to Governor"? It was not available at Borders.
A: The memoir of Hawaii's governor from 1994 to 2002 has yet to be published.
The book was expected to be released in February, but Cayetano only recently submitted a draft manuscript.
He is writing the book on his own, without a co-author.
The target release date now is May, said George Engebretson, of Watermark Publishing, which will publish the memoir.
When it is released, it will be available at local bookstores, including Borders, Barnes & Noble, Bestsellers and Native Books, as well as other retail locations, he said.
It also will be available on Watermark's Web site, www.bookshawaii.net, as well as on Amazon.com and other online sites.
The pre-publication price is $19.95.
According to Watermark, Cayetano will share "his story, from a childhood in the tough neighborhoods of Kalihi and its surroundings to helming the state as the first Filipino American to govern a state."
To officer Matt Ernst of the Kaneohe Police Station. A couple of weeks ago, when it was raining cats and dogs around midnight, I got a blowout on the Pali Highway. Officer Ernst very nicely stopped to make sure I was safe along that dangerous stretch of road. He actually got down and changed the tire for me. He went way beyond the call of duty. -- Gerry Kim
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