HILO, Hawaii – South Hilo district patrol officer Ryan Pagan was honored as “Officer of the Year” by the Aloha Exchange Club during a dinner ceremony at Hilo’s Nani Mau Gardens on Thursday, March 24.
Officer Pagan, who joined the Police Department in 2008, was recognized for rescuing an elderly woman who, along with her husband, had been reported missing.
Masaru Miyamoto, 93, and his 88-year-old wife, Tamie Miyamoto, went missing Sunday in October 2015. After several days of searching, the body of Masaru was found in a ravine down the street from a house owned by a relative. Pagan searched the surrounding area and found Tamie in thick vegetation. Police say she had fallen days earlier, was unable to get up, and had been without food and water since her fall. Her husband was no longer alive.
“It is Officer Pagan’s perseverance that made the difference which saved a life that day,” wrote Lieutenant Alan Kimura in nomination papers. “He is not a person who looks for recognition or talks about his accomplishments; however, his actions deserve to be acknowledged.”
Pagan received a plaque from the Aloha Exchange Club, a gift basket of donated items from local businesses and certificates of commendation from the mayor’s office, the governor’s office, the state Legislature and the Hawaiʻi County Council.
Captain Garrett Kim was also honored as “Fire Fighter of the Year” during the same event. We will have that story and video shortly.