Dozens of police officers and civilians were honored Wednesday for their bravery and commitment to keeping the community safe.
Corporal Denis Carino and Officers Rick Colleado, Peter Krog, and Jason Sarabia of District 4 (Kaneohe/Kailua/Kahuku) received Certificates of Merit following a shooting in Kahaluu.
In January, Carino was leaving a residential call when he spotted a man with a shotgun at a bus stop. The suspect, Glendon Young, opened fire, striking the rear passenger door of Carino’s subsidized police vehicle, forcing him to exit his vehicle to find cover. Shortly after, the other officers arrived on scene and were able to get the suspect to show his hands and get on the ground. The suspect resisted while being handcuffed, but the officers managed to gain control.
Police say the officers’ quick thinking and courageous acts helped diffuse what could have been a deadly situation.
“Despite the tense situation the officers faced on this day, they showed tremendous courage and unbelievable restraint in diffusing the situation without further incident or injury to themselves or the innocent bystanders,” said Maj. Gordon Gomes.
Young has been charged with attempted murder, drug offenses and firearms violations. He’s scheduled to go to trial in August.
K-3 Francis received the Certificate of Merit for assisting a 2-year-old child who went missing from an apartment in the Kalihi area in March. Francis, who does not speak English, saw the toddler walking in the roadway and feared that she would get hurt. He brought the child to the sidewalk and waited with her for about an hour. Francis then brought the child home and spoke with his wife and English-speaking cousin, who recognized the child from social media posts. They called 911 and the child was safely reunited with her family.
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Officer John Alarcon of District 5 (Kalihi) was awarded the HPD’s Warrior Bronze Medal of Valor after saving a woman who wanted to end her life. In December 2016, Alarcon was off duty and traveling westbound on the H-1 Freeway in the leeward area when he noticed a woman leaning over a cement railing, staring at the traffic below. Worried that the woman may try to harm herself, Alarcon stopped his vehicle and approached her. The woman, who was crying uncontrollably, refused help and stepped closer to the edge of the railing. As the woman leaned forward, Alarcon managed to grab her and bring her to safety. He stayed with the woman until responding officers arrived. His quick actions and selflessness prevented the woman from hurting herself and others.
District 1 (Central Honolulu) Fourth Watch officers were selected as the Unit of the Quarter. In January, they piloted the “Know Your Beat” program in the Downtown and Chinatown areas. After meeting with residents and business owners, the officers worked to come up with problem-solving solutions that continue to benefit the community. For example, the officers came up with a solution to prevent loitering at a fast food business. They also helped a homeless family relocate to a temporary shelter. The officers also focused on enforcing traffic laws and made 361 arrests and issued over 1,500 moving, pedestrian, and parking violation citations in the first quarter.
Sgt. Clement Enoka III of the Training Division was named as the Officer of the Quarter. Since stepping into the role of shooting range sergeant, he has improved communication within the department and relationships with outside agencies. Enoka also restructured the responsibilities of the range staff and Annual Recall Training (ART) curriculum. To improve efficiency, he has his staff update and track all officers’ firearms qualifications and training, and monitor inventory items.
Jennifer Abe of the Finance Division was selected as the Civilian Employee of the Quarter. Abe is a pre-audit clerk and has shown eagerness to learn all aspects of the subsidized motor vehicle program. She took the initiative to streamline processes and procedures regarding the program, personal benefits, and tax changes. She simplified retirement and transfer procedures and developed a user-friendly PowerPoint presentation for subsidized vehicles. Police say Abe is highly motivated and continues to be a positive influence in the division.
Cpl. Mark Kutsy and officers Nicole Amano, Dillon Keaney, and Aaron Washington Jr. of District 7 (East Honolulu) received Certificates of Merit for their assistance in a domestic violence case. In October 2016, the officers responded to several calls of an argument at a Honolulu residence. The caller told the dispatcher that her husband had injured her and her children. Upon arrival, the officers observed a man armed with a kitchen knife. The officers ordered him to drop the weapon, and the man surrendered. The officers then provided first aid to the injured occupants of the home. The officers’ quick response resulted in the apprehension of the suspect and prevented further injury to the victims.
Sgt. Andrew Berky, Cpl. Derek Pa, and officers David Kuamoo, Thomas Factora Sr., William Simpson IV, and Aaron Oshiro of District 2 (Wahiawa/North Shore) received Certificates of Merit for responding to a call involving a distraught male with a knife. In February, the officers were sent to an apartment complex in the Central Oahu area. Upon arrival, the officers observed a man with a knife who was yelling at them to stay back. They continued to talk to the man, who eventually placed the knife down on a crate. After a brief struggle, the officers managed to detain the man and prevent him from harming himself or others.
Howard Araki received a Letter of Commendation for helping officers apprehend a suspect in Wahiawa. In January, District 2 (Mililani/Wahiawa/North Shore) patrol officers and Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) officers were searching for a suspect involved in several property crimes in Central Oahu. The suspect was also wanted for several warrants. The officers managed to track the suspect to Lake Wilson and asked to use Araki’s fishing boat. Without hesitation, he agreed to transport the officers to and from one of the islands in the lake, and the officers were able to arrest the suspect without incident.