The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Randy Morris as “Officer of the Year” in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.
Morris, a Hawaii Island Police Activities League officer in Kona, was honored for an arrest that curtailed a spike in burglaries last year in West Hawaii.
During August and September of 2012, police responded to the rash of burglaries by forming a special task force to identify and locate burglary suspects. Although Morris was not a part of that task force, he made it a point to educate himself about the known suspects. One of them was a 31-year-old man who was also wanted for escape and was considered armed and dangerous.
While Morris was pulling into a gas station on his day off, he recognized the escapee at one of the pumps. He confronted the suspect, who ran away in an attempt to evade capture. Without hesitation, Morris followed and was able to apprehend the suspect after a 50-yard foot chase.
Through continued investigation and with the assistance of the Criminal Investigations Section, Morris was able to recover 22 stolen items.
With the suspect in custody, the number of reported residential burglaries in the Kona District decreased by 90 percent.
Morris was named “Officer of the Month” in December for the same incident.
At the awards ceremony Wednesday, Morris thanked God, his wife, the Kona Crime Prevention Committee and his bosses. He also acknowledged his fellow nominees, whom he described as “awesome.”
“We love working in our community,” Morris said. “We love coming to work every day.”
The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaii.