(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi Police Officer Richard Nery Jr. was given the Haweo Award by the Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday in Kona. Officer Nery was honored for helping a disabled veteran in South Kohala.
It was noted that Officer Nery, who has spent his 17-years as a police officer in the South Kohala district, “cares deeply for the wellbeing of everyone within the community, especially kupuna and disabled persons.”
From a police Hawaiʻi Police Department news release:
In September 2022, Officer Nery learned of a disabled veteran residing in the South Kohala area who needed a portion of the fence along their property repaired. Initially, it was thought that only two fence posts would need to be replaced. However, after an assessment, it was determined that more than 100 feet of fence would need to be rebuilt, including the replacement of 10 posts with the need to drill new holes.
In a profound display of compassion, Officer Nery insisted on rebuilding the fence with no charge for his time. Over the course of four months, he spent numerous hours of his off-duty time rebuilding and painting the fence, making multiple trips to various locations for supplies, as well as hauling his own personal heavy equipment to and from the residence as needed. During this time, he further helped the disabled veteran with additional landscaping and irrigation work.
These actions were all the more commendable as Officer Nery was not acquainted with the veteran prior to learning that he was in need of assistance.
“For embodying HPD’s core values of compassion, integrity, and professionalism, Officer Nery is well deserving of receiving this distinguished award,” said Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz.
In the news release, the Police Department also recognized the previous 2023 Haweo award winners:
Detective Kimo Keliipaakaua
Area I Criminal Investigation Section Detective Kimo Keliipaakaua received the Haweo Award in August 2023 for his investigative skills resulting in the recovery of stolen property, including firearms and vehicles, as well as the arrest and charging of multiple suspects.
Kona Community Policing Officer Wyattlane Nahale
Kona Community Policing Officer Wyattlane Nahale was honored with the Haweo award in June 2023 for his proactive community policing, particularly with spearheading outreach projects for the homeless in West Hawai‘i.
Hāmākua Patrol Officer Ellsworth Fontes
Hāmākua Patrol Officer Ellsworth Fontes received the Haweo Award in April 2023 for his investigative skills resulting in the recovery of stolen property.
South Kohala Patrol Officer Robert McKay Jr.
South Kohala Patrol Officer Robert McKay Jr. was honored with the Haweo award in February 2023 for his quick life-saving actions in two different situations: a stabbing in Waikoloa and a teenager attempting suicide in Waimea.