Hawai'i State News

Detective John Balberde honored with Haweo Award for outstanding investigative efforts

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

From left: Acting Deputy Chief Reed Mahuna, Detective John Balberde, Captain Rio Amon-Wilkins. Photo Courtesy: Hawai‘i Police Department

In recognition of his outstanding investigative efforts and determination to make Big Island’s communities safer, Hawai‘i Police Department Detective John Balberde was honored with the Haweo Award during a ceremony held at the Hawai‘i County Council chambers in Hilo on Wednesday morning.

A 15-year veteran of the department, Detective Balberde is currently assigned as the supervisor of the Area I Criminal Investigation Division’s Crime Reduction Unit, in East Hawai‘i.

Detective Balberde was recognized for his overall body of work while leading the Crime Reduction Unit, as well as for the steadfast determination and compassion he exhibited as the lead detective assigned to a heinous double-homicide in January 2023, in Hilo.

Detective Balberde’s supervisor, Captain Rio Amon-Wilkins, stated, “John volunteered to be the lead detective,” referring to the homicide on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “Detective Balberde worked tirelessly over the next 48 hours, ensuring the investigation was complete and the suspect was charged.”

Captain Amon-Wilkins also noted that Detective Balberde is a dedicated officer with a passion for improving the community and holding violent offenders accountable. “His integrity is unquestionable.” Amon-Wilkins continued, “Detective Balberde leads by example, and he treats subordinates, co-workers, victims, and suspects with dignity and respect. He exemplifies the core values of the Hawai‘i Police Department, through his integrity, professionalism, compassion, teamwork, and community satisfaction.”

Acting Deputy Chief Reed Mahuna, who attended this morning’s ceremony said, “Detective Balberde has done outstanding work, we are very proud of him, and he is certainly an asset to our department.” Mahuna added, “We would also like to thank the Hawai‘i County Council and Councilmember Inaba for recognizing our officers who do such great work”.

Prior to being promoted to Sergeant/Detective in August 2020 and being assigned to the Area I Criminal Investigation Section in East Hawai‘i, Balberde worked as a patrol officer in Kona and Hilo, an officer in the Crime Reduction Unit, as well as Vice and the Criminal Intelligence Unit in Kona.


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments