KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Hawaii County Police Officer Randy Morris was named “Officer of the Year” by the Kona Crime Prevention Committee at a luncheon held on Wednesday.
All the nominees were present at the event held at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. The officers had all won the Officer of the Month awards in the past year- Morris included.
Police say Morris, a HI-PAL officer in Kona, was honored for an arrest that curtailed a spike in burglaries last year in West Hawaiʻi.
The community was up in arms over the crime spree that occurred between August and September of 2012. Police formed a task force to deal with the rash of burglaries. Morris was not a part of that task force, yet he made it a point to educate himself about the known suspects. One of them was a 31-year-old man who was also wanted for escape and was considered armed and dangerous.
While Morris was pulling into a gas station on his day off, he recognized the escapee at one of the pumps. The suspect ran away when Morris confronted him. Morris followed and was able to apprehend the suspect after a 50-yard foot chase.
In the end, 22 stolen items were recovered. Police say with the suspect in custody, the number of reported residential burglaries in the Kona District decreased by 90 percent.
Morris was named “Officer of the Month” in December for the same incident. He thanked everyone in a short speech.
The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.