East Hawaii News

Hawaiʻi Police Department Detective Honored with Haweo Award

July 6, 2022, 5:00 PM HST
* Updated July 6, 3:40 PM
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Detective Keith Simeona was presented with the Haweo Award during a ceremony earlier this week. (Photo courtesy of the Hawai‘i Police Department)

A detective with the Hawai‘i Police Department was recently honored for his invaluable leadership.

Detective Keith Simeona was presented with the Haweo Award on Tuesday, July 5, during a ceremony in Hawai‘i County Council chambers in Hilo for overseeing the police department’s East Hawai‘i Special Enforcement Unit. Simeona, who works with the East Hawai‘i Criminal Investigation Section, was also lauded for his investigative skills and mentorship of prior and current members of the Special Enforcement Unit.

Detective Simeona’s mentorship of Special Enforcement Unit members was also recognized during the ceremony. Unit members credit him with creating a hard working team environment.

One unit member said that Simeona “provides guidance, (is) there for crucial decisions, shares valuable experiences/knowledge … open to new ideas and manages based on individual needs, very motivating,” according to a media release from the police department.

The award was presented to Simeona by the council’s Parks and Recreation and Public Safety Committee, which honors county police and fire department personnel who go above and beyond the call of duty. Simeona was also presented with a lei and a certificate signed by each council member.

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Simeona has led the Special Enforcement Unit for about two years. Every six months he gets newly assigned patrol officers who he is responsible for managing, training, organizing and supervising. Simeona is a former Special Enforcement Unit officer, having worked in the unit while being assigned to South Hilo as a patrol officer.

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“The identified criminals sought by the Special Enforcement Unit are the worst of the worst and pose the biggest threat to community safety,” the police media release said. “In the past six months, Detective Simeona and his team have been responsible for the apprehension of four individuals who were wanted for a total of 513 criminal complaints.”

The four individuals were wanted for various felonies including a multitude of property crimes, firearms and drug offenses, as well as crimes against a person.

One of the fugitives was wanted for multiple drug offenses after police discovered that this person was distributing pounds of methamphetamine. In addition, the person was known to use firearms in order to facilitate the drug dealing, protection and collection of proceeds from those sales.

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After fleeing from police several times in different vehicles to avoid apprehension, the fugitive was apprehended after an extensive effort by the Special Enforcement Unit team, spearheaded by Simeona.

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