Vying for top cop: Officer of the Year luncheon features best of the blue

KAILUA-KONA — For 35 years, the Kona Crime Prevention Committee has been honoring outstanding police officers through its Officer of the Month and Officer of the Year awards.

Established in 1971, the committee supports the Hawaii Police Department in its efforts to prevent crime, deter potential criminals and enforce the law.

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“They are part of our ohana, just like we are part of their ohana,” said Diane Blancett-Maddock, president of the committee. “Our police force on this side really shows the aloha. They treat people like they want to be treated, and they deserve to be honored for that.”

Each month, an officer is selected through a nomination by their superiors and honored at a luncheon. In September, the committee selects the Officer of the Year from the monthly honorees.

“The committee gives them an opportunity on a monthly basis to be recognized by Kona Crime Prevention, the Governor’s Office and the Mayor’s Office in a formal manner that shows our gratitude and appreciation for their special service in our community,” said Blancett-Maddock.

The recurring themes among the officers nominated is that they are active in the community. They serve as coaches, they work with youth programs and they have been influenced in their life in the same way.

“Time after time they tell us they had a good experience with a police officer when they were young and that shaped their career choice and they want to pass that along. We strongly believe that the officers in our community are invested in our community and we are invested in them,” she said.

Over the past year, officers Christopher Fukumoto, Adam Hanes, Bryan Ellis, Ansel Robinson, Pedro Cacho Jr., Conrad Iranon, Adam Cho, Tyler Meno, Devin Ah Chong and Jason Miyashiro have been granted the title “Officer of the Month.” Robinson earned the title twice.

One will be chosen as the Officer of the Year on Sept. 18.

In addition to outstanding police work in apprehending thieves and drug offenders, these men have racked up outstanding performance records.

Fukumoto investigated 23 incidents, two traffic incidents, 46 public complaints, five DUIs and issued 42 violations, all in the month of March.

Cacho, assigned to the Special Enforcement Unit, investigated 67 incidents, made 51 arrests for a total of 65 criminal charges in a seven-month period.

Ellis was nominated for his outstanding performance while assigned as the acting patrol sergeant during a pursuit of suspect Justin Waiki, who was wanted for the July 2018 murder of Puna Patrol Officer Bronson Kaliloa. Ellis was the only officer left at the Kona Police Station and “performed flawlessly and kept his calm demeanor throughout the entire chaotic event while delivering exceptional service to everyone that he contacted,” according to nominator Sgt. Thomas Koyanagi.

Nominators heaped accolades on all of the officers nominated, highlighting investigations and merits that earned them the awards, but alas, there can be only one Officer of the Year.

“They deserve everything we can do for them,” said Blancett-Maddock

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The awards luncheon gets underway at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 18 at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Tickets are $45 per person and $30 for keiki.

For reservations, contact Liz Holey at 443-7708 or lholey@hawaii.rr.com.

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