Officer Justin Gaspar Named Kona Crime Prevention Committee’s Officer of The Year

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From left to right, Kona Crime Prevention Committee Officer of The Year for 2022 Justin Gaspar, Mayor Mitch Roth, the committee’s 2020 Officer of The Year Wyatt Nahale and 2021 Officer of The Year Elijah Won. (Photos courtesy of Hawai‘i Police Department)

A West Hawai‘i organization recently honored a 12-year veteran of the Hawai‘i Police Department as its 2022 Officer of The Year.

A group shot of Officer of The Year nominees and award winners.

Officer Justin Gaspar received the honor Aug. 25 from the Kona Crime Prevention Committee. Gaspar was also named as the organization’s Officer of The Month for March. Gaspar is a member of the police department’s Area II Vice Section. He is a K-9 handler and works with narcotics canine Boyke.

On Nov. 1, 2021, Gaspar initiated an investigation starting with a vehicle interdiction that turned into a significant narcotics investigation. By developing and exploiting informants and cooperating defendants, working closely with his peers, internal experts and external agencies, he was able to dismantle a local drug distribution organization, which was supplied by a Mexican cartel.


In the course of his investigation, Gaspar drafted more than nine search warrants, which recovered 5 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 7,000 fentanyl pills and 1 kilogram of pure powdered fentanyl. The drugs had a total street value of more than $1 million.

Gaspar’s investigation identified a Big Island drug trafficking organization and stopped a large amount of narcotics from entering the island. The investigation resulted in the arrest of one of the main suppliers of the drug trafficking organization and cut off multiple other narcotics distributors.

In addition, through this investigation, Gaspar was able to work with the police department’s Juvenile Aid Section to assist in identifying a suspect in a juvenile death.


“Dedicated to the recovery of narcotics and the betterment of the Big Island community, Officer Gaspar strives to ensure the Big Island is a safe place to live, visit and conduct business,” a press release from the Hawai’i Police Department said.

Also honored during the recognition ceremony hosted by the Kona Crime Prevention Committee were 2020 Officer of The Year Wyatt Nahale and 2021 Officer of The Year Elijah Won. Both officers previously received their awards, but neither got proper recognition because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee every month honors a police officer in West Hawai‘i as its Officer of The Month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the various police districts and a winner is selected by the committee’s board of directors.


All officers selected as Officer of The Month are eligible to be selected as the committee’s Officer of The Year.

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