KAILUA-KONA — Keen observation and good old-fashioned police work earned Hawaii County Police Officer Christopher Fukumoto the honor of November Officer of the Month on Wednesday.
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.
At Wednesday’s awards luncheon at Huggo’s, Fukumoto was presented with declarations of appreciation from Mayor Harry Kim and Gov. David Ige, along with gift certificates from area businesses.
“Hawaii Island has very dedicated law enforcement officers. It’s really important to always thank our law enforcement community for what they do,” said Judge Margaret Masunaga, the event’s guest speaker.
Fukumoto was nominated by Lt. Akira Edmoundson for outstanding work in investigating theft from a Kailua-Kona business.
On June 25, Fukumoto was assigned to a theft of a trailer. The victim reported that an unknown suspect removed the trailer without permission.
“Upon initially taking the report he didn’t have a lot to go off of,” Edmoundson said. “He recovered video surveillance which actually showed the crime occurring. A male suspect pulled up in a truck, attached the trailer to the back of the truck and (left).”
The officer recognized the suspect from prior contacts, knew where he could probably find him, made checks, located him quickly and arrested him. He also had a strong suspicion that the truck was stolen as it had a unique camper shell.
“From that he was like ‘I think I know where it got stolen from’. He went to the business and sure enough it was stolen. They didn’t know it yet but he made the report for them and subsequently he arrested and charged the suspect for the theft of the trailer, the theft of the truck as well as habitual property crimes.”
In addition to this event, during the month of June, Fukumoto, along with his recruit trainee, investigated 44 incidents, seven traffic accidents and 39 miscellaneous public complaints. They further made 16 adult arrests and issued 37 traffic citations.
“I’ve known Officer Fukumoto for many years,” said Edmoundson. “He’s a hard worker and a really good police officer. He knows our community, he knows the criminals, where they hang out. He used his knowledge and experience to quickly and effectively arrest the suspect and solve the case.”