Honolulu police officer Chad Morimoto died in a motorcycle training exercise three months ago in Mililani. Sunday night at Aloha Tower Marketplace, there were tears amid the smiles as recruit classmates celebrated the life of joy and commitment.
Classic tunes, good food and laughter. That's what friends and co-workers think of looking back at the life of the 39-year-old motorcycle officer who loved to ride.
"He was lively, inviting," said classmate Michael Newman. "That's what I remember most about him."
Morimoto was an 8-year HPD veteran starting as a patrol officer in Waikiki. He moved two years ago to the Traffic Division as a motorcycle officer. He was killed in July when his BMW motorcycle fishtailed during motorcade escort maneuvers.
HPD honored Morimoto with a solemn salute as his funeral motorcade passed police headquarters on Aug. 11. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Sunday night, friends met at a benefit dinner and raffle for the family.
"It's mainly a celebration of life to try remember Chad they way he was to us, even till now," said Newman. "We wanted to do something to help the family to raise funds to help them out."
Morimoto was the 46th HPD officer killed while on duty.