Sergeant Tom explains police work

MPD exhibit at Career Day offers answers


Photo by Kainoa Deguilmo

Sergeant Keola Tom, representing the Maui Police Department, gives a fierce shaka at his exhibit on Career Day, Nov. 25, at Ka’ulaheinuiokamoku. The entire high school attended workshops and assemblies as well as checked out career exhibits like this one.

Members from the community came to school on Career Day to educate students about different career opportunities. One of these professionals was Sergeant Keola Tom from the Maui Police Department. He is responsible for training officers and issuing search warrants for dangerous criminals.

“We catch career criminals and violent offenders,” he said of his squad.

Sergeant Tom said that in order to reach the status of a sergeant in the police force, a person has to be an officer for at least three years and pass a physical test.

“The test consists of running, pull-ups, sit-ups, obstacle courses as well as swimming,” he said.

He added that getting interviewed was part of the process, too.

Different tools used by the Sergeant Tom’s unit were displayed at on of the Career Day tables. The items included a battering ram, a shield, and devices used to break doors and windows in order to reach suspects.

“They may look easy to use,” Sergeant Tom said, “but you have to really be careful. If you don’t train right, you can really hurt yourself or [hold up] the group during an operation.”

Throughout his years in the police academy, Sergeant Tom said he has learned a lot.

“One thing I learned was that cops do a lot of things that many people don’t realize or see,” he said. “People are quick to judge cops without knowing what really happens.”

Freshman Kody Cambra was one of the students who visited the police exhibit.

“[The police exhibition] was pretty cool,” he said. “It was cool to see the battering ram and other tools they used to make entry points into houses.”

Cambra enjoyed the day’s activities as guest speakers from the community spoke to students, and liked the firefighter and police exhibitions most. He said that he has family involved with the police academy and fire station as well.

“It was a fun, good experience,” Cambra said, “especially to see and know what kind of jobs and opportunities are out there.”