Kona Officer Honored For Halting Burglary Spree
The Kona Crime Prevention Committee has recognized Officer Randy Morris as “Officer of the Year” for his efforts to halt a spike in burglaries last year in West Hawaii.
Morris’ regular duties involve the Hawaiʻi Isle Police Activities League, or HI-PAL, a program that provides social and athletic activities for youths of Hawaiʻi Island between the ages of 5-17.
During August and September of 2012, police formed a task force to investigate a rash of burglaries.
Police said although Morris was not a member of the task force, he made it a point to learn more about the known suspects. One of those was a 31-year-old man who was also wanted for escape, and who was considered armed and dangerous.
While driving into a gas station on a day off, Morris recognized the escapee at one of the pumps. When confronted, the man ran off but was caught by Morris after a 50-yard chase.
During a follow-up investigation, Morris and other officers were able to recover 22 stolen items.
Police said following the arrest of the suspect, the number of residential burglaries reported in Kona dropped by 90%.
Morris was named “Officer of the Month” in December for the same incident.
At the awards ceremony Wednesday at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Morris acknowledged his fellow nominees, whom he described as “awesome,” and thanked God, his wife, the Kona Crime Prevention Committee and his bosses.
“We love working in our community,” Morris said. “We love coming to work every day.”
The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is a non-profit organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.