Meet Corporal Kaaiako Vavao, who has been with the Odessa Police Department for 7 years. He is on the SWAT team (4 ½ years), is a Defensive Tactics Instructor, a Field Training Officer, and is currently assigned to Patrol. He is a recipient of the Medal of Valor and was PPOA Officer of the Year in 2019.
Cpl. Vavao says that Odessa may not be his hometown, but it is his home. "While there are many reasons why I chose to pursue a career in Law Enforcement, none will ever outweigh the peace of mind I get from knowing that I can help to make Odessa a safer place to raise my family." He says that he enjoys interacting with the community and getting to know people who he probably would not have crossed paths with otherwise.
Cpl. Vavao shared with us what Asian American & Pacific Islander Month means to him. "For those who have never met someone of Asian American and/or Pacific Islander descent, AAPI Heritage Month can serve as a way to educate them of my culture," He says. Cpl Vavao is Samoan, Hawaiian, and Filipino.
Cpl. Vavao appreciates the traditions of his culture, whether it is the food, dances, language, or family-oriented upbringing. "The thing that I appreciate the most about my culture is the fact that these traditions have been held onto and passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years." Music is a big part of his family and his Polynesian culture. Currently, Cpl. Vavao is learning how to play a bass guitar that his grandfather passed down to him before he passed away.
Cpl. Vavao's hobbies include collecting comic books and restoring/reselling collectible Air Jordan shoes. He also spends a lot of his free time working out and is currently pursuing certification as a personal trainer. However, Cpl. Vavao says that he loves nothing more than spending time with his daughters. "If there is anything that I love to do and can include my daughters in as well, then that is what I will dedicate my time to outside of work." His beautiful family is pictured.
Thank you, Corporal Kaaiako Vavao, for making our community a safer place!