Outstanding Honolulu police officers awarded for their actions

·3 min read

May 16—Honolulu police officer Lisa-Marie Like was dealing with a series of robberies, car thefts and violent fights at the Halawa housing area spurred by a rowdy group of kids.

Like, a 19-year-veteran of the force, used a mix of law enforcement and personal touch to earn a community's trust and curb the bad behavior.

She also responded to more than 1, 700 cases, submitted 460 written cases, and issued more than 1, 400 citations while patrolling and serving the community.

"Officer Like took the time to get to know the individuals, families and their backgrounds. She was able to share her personal upbringing with these individuals, earning their respect and developing a bond, " said Honolulu Police Department Maj. J Pedro. "Soon after, crime decreased in the area. Officer Like continues to serve the community with the spirit of aloha."

For her work and service last year, Like was named HPD's 2021 Officer of the Year.

Due to last year's cancellation of Police Week activities due to COVID-19, the awards for 2020 and 2021 were presented on Monday at the department's Alapai Street headquarters.

Capt. Stephen Silva Jr. had the honor of awarding the 2020 Officer of the Year award to Detective Thomas Billins.

In 2019 Billins, a 10-year HPD veteran, was assigned to the Traffic Division, where he worked as the lead instructor and subject matter expert in impaired driving and drug recognition.

Billins worked a case where a driver hit and killed a pedestrian and left the scene. There were very few leads when Billins began his investigation.

"Officer Billins persevered, recovered evidence and was able to successfully charge the offender and brought a successful end to the case, " Silva said.

Others honored Monday :—2020 Outstanding Citizen of the Year : Warren Lilo is the executive director of the Life 360 Network, an organization dedicated to empowering Hawaii's youth. Life 360 has worked with the HPD by reaching out to at-risk youth, organizing citizens' patrol groups, community cleanup projects and youth programs.—2021 Outstanding Citizen of the Year : Michael Kitchens is the creator and administrator of the Facebook group Stolen Stuff Hawaii. Created in 2014, Kitchens and his team of 18 moderators post and facilitate content for the group, which has more than 138, 000 members. Through Stolen Stuff Hawaii, HPD is able to reach a large and diverse audience.—2020 Reserve Officer of the Year : For the past nine years, Reserve Officer Kent Harada, a 48-year department veteran, has actively served the commu ­nity by regularly patrolling "hot spot " areas in District 4 (Windward Oahu ), police said. In 2019, he responded to approximately 90 cases, submitted about 10 written cases, and issued more than 50 citations. His high visibility and presence deterred many vehicle thefts at popular beach parks, police said.—2021 Reserve Officer of the Year : Since 2019, Reserve Officer Nicholas Akaka, a 30-year veteran, has been assigned to the Community Affairs Division. In 2020, he dedicated more than 300 volunteer hours to the Juvenile Services Section and helped re-establish the Runaway Detail. When the pandemic hit, Akaka readily volunteered at COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, food distribution events and funerals for current and retired HPD officers.—2020 Civilian Employee of the Year : Tracey Kawakami was hired in 1989 and is assigned to the Traffic Division. As a senior clerk typist, she is responsible for processing payroll, tracking attendance and other administrative duties. In 2019, she stepped up and assisted with extra assignments due to the division's multiple personnel changes, retirements, promotions and transfers.—2021 Civilian Employee of the Year : For the past 45 years, Ida Quinn has been assigned to the Records and Identification Division. As a supervisor in the evidence room, Quinn works with many HPD divisions as well as outside agencies including the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney and U.S. Secret Service, police said. As an evidence custodian, she is constantly seeking additional storage space and works with the prosecutor's office to dispose of evidence no longer needed for prosecution.

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