CREATE Better Reasoning – Problem Solving Opportunity

I wanted to share a brief update for those of you, who like me, enjoy working on puzzles and conducting problem solving on a variety issues. Are you looking to solve problems? Work on both simple and difficult puzzles? Enjoy working with a team? If so, you might be interested in the research study CREATE, which is being run by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

You can join the research study at this link.

Have a happy weekend thinkers!

A Final Salute to Officer Bronson K. Kaliloa

On July 17, Officer Bronson K. Kaliloa of the Hawai’i County Police Department conducted a high-risk traffic stop of a wanted subject on Highway 11, in Kukui Camp Road, Mountain View. Officer Kaliloa was shot in the neck and leg by the wanted subject; he was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds shortly after midnight on July 18. Officer Kaliloa served with Hawai’i County Police Department for 10 years. He is survived by his wife and three young children.

First, let me begin this post by saying how incredibly devastating the death of a law enforcement officer is—To serve and protect citizens, the whole community, and to be killed because of it. And no, I’m not putting law enforcement on a pedestal, but it’s a simple fact: They serve and protect the community as much as any human tasked with that great responsibility is able to, regardless of who “hates” them or how dangerous the subject/situation is; they do it every single day. I work in law enforcement. My father is career law enforcement. I work with law enforcement professionals from all agencies. The job does require dealing with combative subjects and a dangerous environment; it’s part of the job. However, the goal is to go home at the end of the day, and when one of your own is killed by an individual who simply couldn’t abide by the law, it hits hard. It’s difficult. It’s sad. It makes you angry—But you still believe in what you’re representing and you still care. Therefore, you go back out there and do your job. Once again, it’s incredibly devastating the death of a law enforcement officer.

Officer Kaliloa was the first Big Island police officer to be murdered while making a traffic stop—This has never happened here. When I worked as a PIO/News Reporter for a non-profit organization back in 2016, I covered over a hundred law enforcement deaths, but it was never this close to home.

Yesterday Officer Kaliloa was laid to rest. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend his funeral. However, I was able to watch it live from Nā Leo TV and Hawaii News Now. The show of support from the general public and the amount of law enforcement from all over the United States, not just Hawaii’s agencies, that paid their respects to Officer Kaliloa was absolutely heartwarming—It was amazing to see. Law enforcement all the way from New York came to Hilo’s Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Citizens lined the streets as the funeral procession drove by. The flags were ordered to fly at half-staff. Thousands of people came to give a proper send-off to an individual who served his community and served it well.

I can’t begin to imagine what Officer Kaliloa’s wife, children, and department have been going through. From what I’ve heard from those who served with him, and from what is already evident, he was the type of person that not only cared about his job/role as a police officer, but he also cared about others.

Officer Kaliloa, you were an incredible human being. You will be sorely missed.

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Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Fourth of July!

It was just my family and I; we enjoyed delicious burgers—I ate an amazing turkey burger that was filled with garlic and cilantro.

Unfortunately, we didn’t watch fireworks this year, however I still had a great night with my family.

I’m so thankful to live in this country, to be an American, and to be able to serve this country that I love.

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Suicide Prevention: 44,965 People Each Year

I originally contemplated whether I wanted to write about the death of Kate Spade — Not because her death doesn’t matter (every death matters) but because I wasn’t sure, due to the amount of coverage her death has already received, if my words would have the depth it needs to shed light on what is occurring, or in this case, the suicide of a very successful woman. And then I determined that I want to write about this because I believe there is a common misconception that success equates to happiness, and successful people don’t kill themselves and can’t be sad or have problems — How wrong that is.

Spade was a talented and driven designer — The first time I became aware of her it was actually because of her quotes; words that sparked a little inspiration on days when I found myself far too preoccupied with trying to keep up with work, school, and other responsibilities. Her quotes made my day brighter; simple, fun, playful — always witty and optimistic. And then I discovered her handbags; beautiful, sophisticated, and bold. I instantly wanted a Kate.

Looking at her life from the outside, it appears it’s perfect; she built an empire, which according to sources is worth $2.4 billion. She lived in one of the largest and most expensive cities in America. She was married and together they have a daughter. And that’s the problem — looking from the outside portrays one story — looking past the surface portrays another story.

Various reports suggest that Spade suffered from anxiety and depression, yet she was a successful businesswoman. She wasn’t poor, she didn’t live on the side of the road in a makeshift style house held together with tape and rope (I’ve seen this many times) — And yet she committed suicide. She was smart, educated, ran successful businesses, and still managed to be a wife and a mother — And yet she committed suicide. Past the surface, maybe she had problems the world didn’t know about, until one event after another led her to take her own life. The fact is that suicide doesn’t discriminate; the wealthy, the average jane and joe, the strong, and the poor can all be victims. As I stated, success does not equate to happiness. Anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and other mental disorders affect people from all social classes; with the recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain highlighting this once again.

Due to my line of work, I have seen the distress, anger, and emotional turmoil that people experience daily; some handle it better than others and are able to reach out for help, while others have a more difficult time getting the support that they need. On average, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 44,965 Americans die by suicide each year; that’s at least 123 suicides per day — these are people that, regardless of any social/personal characteristics, needed help — and today, in this moment, or tomorrow, or a year from now, people need help.

Taking the time to reach out, or to simply listen, it can save a life; one of the worst things in the world is the inaction to help others.

If you or anyone you know needs support: If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. Visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to find information about receiving the appropriate support. You can seek professional help — Talk to your doctor, a counselor, a psychologist, or someone that you trust — You can fight this and get the help that you need.

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Travel: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific | Honolulu, Hawaii

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” – Thomas Campbell

I wanted to share some photos I took a few years back in 2015. I was working a case in the Punchbowl area of Honolulu and had some time to visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

It was actually on Veterans Day (not Memorial Day), however I thought why not share the photos today. Honestly, it was both humbling and put life into perspective being able to visit a place where the men and women buried served America, many of them died while doing so; the sight was awe-inspiring, as are the stories of these individuals.

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There’s at least 34,000 graves at Punchbowl; this includes service members, dignitaries, and politicians. Unfortunately, due to the fact we were working, I wasn’t able to see the cemetery up close and personal. Next time!

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You can learn more about the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific by going to https://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/nmcp.asp.

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Hawaii Missile Alert

It’s taken me over a week to write this blog post, mostly because I was contemplating whether or not I wanted to write it; not because I didn’t want to get my words out there, but mostly because I had a lot of words and didn’t know where to begin.

On Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 8:09 AM I woke up to this text on my phone: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” I immediately was as alert as could be; it’s definitely the type of alarm that will even wake the dead from their eternal slumber. A million thoughts ran through my head as I jumped out of bed, mostly thoughts of astonishment and worry. Astonishment because I really didn’t expect this to be happening and worry because we are in no way prepared for the devastation that would take place. I’m sure 1.43 million other people felt similar emotions.

The next thing that happened was a rush of events…I was the only one home and only for a minute was I able to get on the phone to speak with my mom and brother who were headed home as fast as they could. Shortly after that, I was unable to make any calls. I then tried to search for information online to see if USPACOM (United States Pacific Command) released any information. After that was unsuccessful I then searched local news sources, my emails to see if anyone sent me information, and Hawaii DoD; all came up empty. The only place I didn’t think to check was Twitter. Shortly after my quest for information, the internet was too slow to get back online. This was a horrible feeling, if I’m being honest. The feeling of being unable to get ANY information.

My mom and brother arrived home pretty quickly; probably within 5 minutes of when the alert was sent. We moved as quick as possible to secure our house (i.e. close all windows, seal the windows that were without glass, and my brother brought out enough firepower should we need it #ProtectTheHomefront). We took the animals downstairs, quickly grabbed the cat and dog food, closed the doors, and waited. In between waiting, some of my brother’s friends had called to let him know that they heard it was fake. However, just to be sure, we waited until we received the second alert stating: “There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii. Repeat. False Alarm.”

It took the residents of Hawaii 38 minutes to receive the all-clear from the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency. 38 minutes of not really knowing what was happening. Of course, in the actual event of a missile alert, we’d only have less than 15 minutes before the attack/nuclear fallout. Yet even knowing that information, 38 minutes of not knowing anything that was going on, well that was truly alarming. I was worried for my dad who was busy managing the security of an entire hospital all the way on the other side of the island. I was worried for my mom and brother. I was worried for our pets. I was worried for our neighbors. I was worried for the entire state. I was worried about the after effects of the initial attack; 10% of the population would be killed, the island would be contaminated with the fallout, and there would be people/animals that would need care and they might not be able to receive it. Let’s just say, it was a good feeling when the all-clear was sent out.

The missile alert made me realize that we need to be better prepared; within our home and our state — this type of ‘mistake’ should never happen.

I also kept thinking during those 38 minutes that it’s important to love each other, to let go of what holds us down and really grasp what makes us leap with joy to be alive; I kept wondering if that is how I lived and that I really hoped things would turn out fine for all. It did turn out fine. And life will go on. However, we all should really love our loved ones, pursue what sets our souls on fire, live a life that is bold, and always have the dessert if you want it.

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Never Above You, Never Below You, Always Beside You | Veterans Day

This blog post is three days late, nearly four; I’m ashamed to even say that because this should have been written on Veterans Day…not today. However, in all actuality, shouldn’t Veterans Day be an everyday thing? I think so. Because our freedom is an everyday thing. If it weren’t for the incredibly selfless and brave and dedicated men and women, well, we just wouldn’t have what we have now.

I read another blog post that discussed how this Veterans Day lacked acknowledgement from fellow citizens, maybe even our country as a whole. To be quite honest, it’s true. Where were the countless posts thanking those who have dedicated a portion of their very life to defend our country? On the bright side, I know that there are people in the world that support our veterans and do give their thanks; this is something that I’ll hold onto otherwise I’d just be tremendously disappointed in America.

Thank you to all veterans; those that are currently serving and those who have served. Your bravery, sacrifice, and dedication to this country is something that should never be forgotten; it should always be remembered and honored. Thank you to my dad who served; my great-grandfather; my grandfather; my uncles; my friends; and my mentors — I can’t wait to join your ranks and be apart of something far greater than myself.

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Law Enforcement & Security Awards Banquet Speech | 2017

I wanted to take the time to share this speech that I wrote for Hawaii’s Law Enforcement and Security Awards Banquet “Top Cop” held on October 26, 2017 at the Hawaii Prince Hotel. I was asked a few months back to write a speech about what I have done since receiving the ASIS scholarship back in 2015 and how the scholarship has impacted my life. Unfortunately, I was unable to deliver this speech in person at Top Cop, however Mrs. F (a woman that I admire & the one who selected me for the scholarship) was able to deliver the speech to a room of more than 300 law enforcement and military personnel. To say it was an honor is an understatement.

Honestly, when I was asked to write and deliver this speech at this event (Top Cop) that I have been attending nearly every year since I was a teenager, let’s just say I was speechless and in awe. I was asked to prepare a speech that was at least 4 minutes long; this was something I knew had to be inspiring, interesting, and was all inclusive of those that would be in the room…from the security guard to the 3-star Deputy Chief of the Honolulu Police Department. I started drafting my ideas onto paper; writing, brainstorming, and eventually typing my first draft speech into Microsoft Word. It took me a couple times to get the speech just right; I tried to open the speech with a little humor but it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to. After a few weeks dedicated to writing a speech that I hoped would convey all that I wanted to, I finally was done. In my head I was thinking, yes, cue the confetti!

Fast forward to a couple months later when I found out I wasn’t able to attend Top Cop; I was a little disappointed but happy that my speech would still be read. I was sent a video of my speech being delivered and it was everything I could ever hope for; the room loved it. See, I wanted my speech to honor the men and women who serve as first responders/military/private sector in the best possible way; I didn’t want my speech to not include them. I’m incredibly thankful to Mrs. F, JC, my dad, and the sponsors of Top Cop for allowing me to have this wonderful opportunity.


Good morning fellow professionals,

My name is Amber Antony and I am a recipient of the 2015 Robert Flating Scholarship Award.

It is a tremendous honor to be standing before you today. I have been attending this event since I was 16-Years-Old, but not once did I think I would be delivering a speech. I also never thought anyone would be brave enough to allow me to stand up here in a speaking role; thank you JCof HJPA!

I have been asked to speak about how the ASIS scholarship assists students and where I am today since receiving the scholarship. One of the obvious benefits of receiving a scholarship is the monetary aspect of such an award; you can pay for a class, textbooks, and/or fulfill other obligations that as a college student you will inevitably have. However, if we were to put the financial support aside, the ASIS scholarship assists students in a far greater way. By receiving a scholarship that supports students in their endeavors to achieve a degree in criminal justice or a related field, allows that student to have the motivation to not only pursue their degree aggressively but to also hold themselves to a higher standard; at least that is how the ASIS scholarship assisted me.

As a college student, especially as a student looking to pursue a career in law enforcement, it is crucial to be motivated; to have a course of action and to have the courage to pursue that course, regardless of the trials that will be faced. The ASIS scholarship is of utmost importance because it acts as that motivation for a student. Failure to believe in one’s self results in a disservice to society; a disservice to yourself. This scholarship reflects the fact that you as a college student already have the unique role of being able to positively impact the world simply by your actions; you can save and protect lives, you can make the world safer, and this ASIS scholarship represents the fact that others believe that you have what it takes to make a difference. Therefore, in all actuality, the ASIS scholarship is important because of what it represents.

Since receiving the ASIS scholarship on October 22, 2015, I have recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration. I hope to have a career in both law enforcement and the military; I am currently an applicant with the United States Marine Corps where I hope to eventually become a candidate and earn a contract to attend Officer Candidate School. In addition to law enforcement and the Marines, I work as an investigator for a private company. I have also achieved numerous certifications in forensic science from RTI International and the National Institute of Justice.

However, two of the most important roles I have had within the last few years is being able to dedicate my time to two organizations that support first responders, military, and national security efforts. For the past two years, I have had the honor and privilege of volunteering my time to the Lint Center for National Security Studies where I am the Operations Manager. Prior to this year, I also volunteered for a non-profit organization called Heroes Memorial Foundation. I was the Assistant Editor in Chief for the organization and Public Information Officer for a sector of Heroes Memorial Foundation known as 53 Hours. The reason it is called 53 Hours is because in 2012, the FBI statistics revealed that in a 1-year period a law enforcement officer was killed in the line of duty on average every 53 hours. During my time of volunteering in that capacity, I had the role of contacting each law enforcement agency for all 135 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2016; these officers served with honor and distinction in their communities.

In closing, I would like to thank the sponsors of this event and extend my sincerest gratitude to those who serve this country. And to all first responders, I stand with you.

Thank you.


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Dallas

It’s a pretty day here in Hawaii. Literally the sky is that bright blue with only a few scattered clouds, the sun is shining bright, and the palm trees are swaying back and forth lost in their own paradise. I’m sure you’d get lost in it too. It’s one of those days where you look out of your window or you take a second glance when walking, and you’re thankful to be alive.

I’m sure 3,698 miles away it’s a different story. A much sadder story.

Today in Dallas the funerals were held for Officer Brent Thompson, Sgt. Michael Smith, and Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens. Unfortunately, I was unable to be in attendance, however I was able to watch parts of the funeral live through a feed set up by one of the officers who I volunteer with (he was able to attend the funerals in person).

It’s hard to think about how beautiful of a day it is when wives, children, parents, friends, and fellow officers have suffered an incredible loss. It’s always hardest when the world looks so beautiful and sunny and bright, and yet thousands of miles away families and friends are trying to make it through the day. It’s a sickening feeling knowing these officers are gone and an even more sickening feeling knowing that some people don’t even care.

Almost a week ago this nation suffered a blow. Five police officers killed in the line of duty. It was horrifying watching the events unfold. It was saddening. And it made me sick to my stomach. I didn’t even know what was going on at first, just that there was a shooting in Dallas. I saw it first as one of the trending topics on Facebook and then when I was in the SITROOM (Situation Room) we got word that three LODD’s (Line of Duty Deaths) had just occurred. I immediately got to work on reporting the unfolding events, as we continued to receive confirmation that more officers were expected to not survive their gunshot wounds. When the count reached five, I couldn’t believe it. My heart was absolutely broken. It still is for them. For Dallas. For the families of these brave men. For the Dallas Police Department and for Dallas Area Rapid Transit. For Chief David Brown.

It’s taken me almost a week to write a blog post about losing our brothers in blue, most likely because all I’ve been reporting on and writing news articles about is the shooting and the after-effects of what has happened since July 7th. It’s been difficult for me to put into words something that clearly shows the impact of what a difference these officers have made and how this is a loss that will always remain. My words will never do them justice. However, I’ll leave you with these parting thoughts.

Officer Brent Thompson, Sgt. Michael Smith, Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Officer Patricio Zamarripa, and Officer Michael Krol—they will never be forgotten. The thin blue line will hold and remain strong. I personally know law enforcement officers from all over the country that made it to Dallas for the funerals; we stand together. This horrific event will not change the fact that every single day, at all hours, men and women will continue to put on their uniform and their duty belt, wear their badge proudly, and step out of the front door into a world that can be so very cruel at times to protect people from all walks of life. To uphold the law. To do what they can for people they don’t even know.

Although there is so much tragedy in this world, so much heartbreak, I still believe that this world is good.

I stand with my brothers and sisters in blue.


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From Sea to Shining Sea

Fourth of July has to be one of my favorite days of the entire year. I love it! The abundance of patriotism, the sea of American Flags, fun barbecues, military stories, and a basic show of support for the USA—you can’t go wrong with any of these things.

I know that this country needs some major improvements and not everything is perfect, but I love my country. The American Flag is hands down one of my favorite sights to see wherever it is I go—it represents how our freedom is not free and that it comes with a price. Brave men and women, warriors, have paid the ultimate sacrifice for America. I think about the history of what made this country what it is today; the battles, the people, the presidents, and the work that it took to make this country what it is.

It is a country that I am proud of.


This is President Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address that has some really profound statements:

“Well I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to insure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children. And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom.

To those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale.

As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it — now or ever. Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so, we have the best chance of never having to use that strength.

Above all we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.

I am — I’m told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day; and for that I am deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each inaugural day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.”


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