A career of "firsts"
Written by APB Staff
As the first female narcotics officer in the Honolulu Police Department during the 1980s, that achievement alone could be one of Joanne Takasato's most interesting stories. But the real story lies in what she saw during her undercover assignments, and how it deeply affected her life outside of work. Takasato's memoir, In Search of Truth and Honor: Reflections of an Undercover Journey through the Dark Side of the Badge, provides readers with her depiction of what law enforcement officers face on a daily basis, both inside and outside police headquarters.
Takasato shares what it was like to break down societal barriers, and, more importantly, she shows the outside world how emotionally and psychologically devastating it can be for undercover officers and agents. The author entered the world of narcotics trafficking without any training, guidelines or rules of conduct and she was dropped off on a dark street corner without a badge, gun or identification.
Her mission was simple: find and befriend dealers, buy narcotics then turn them in. While it seemed at first glance that her daily encounters with drug dealers were by far the hardest part of the job, Takasato quickly learned that the underbelly of her profession was a ruthless, deadly place.
She shows readers how difficult life can be not only fulfilling her mission, but also how deep consequences are often paid in the personal lives of officers and agents living an undercover lifestyle. "I faced some of my deepest inner conflicts of truth and honor as an undercover narcotics officer," says Takasato.
"My readers will take a journey with me into the darkness as my life and identity were slowly destroyed, and see how I finally found the path back into the light with prayer and the newfound friendships of outstanding law officers."
Takasato hopes that through her memoir she can pass on the important lessons of truth and honor that she learned as a law enforcement officer. Her story seeks to fulfill her promise to validate the efforts and personal sacrifices of all other undercover law officers and federal agents, past and present, who have shared similar difficulties and experiences.
In Search of Truth and Honor: Reflections of an Undercover Journey through the Dark Side of the Badge, is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels. Joanne Takasato is a third-generation Asian-American whose grandparents migrated from Okinawa to Hawaii in the early1900s.
She retired as a detective from the Honolulu Police Department in 2006, and now continues a career in private investigation.
Takasato was the first female Honolulu police officer to earn both the Hawaii State Law Enforcement Officers Outstanding Officer Award and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Loyalty Award, in addition to the many other awards she has received over the course of her 27 years of service.