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Outstanding HPD officers, employees recognized

The following awards were presented during the Honolulu Police Department's (HPD) service and awards ceremony at the Mission Memorial Auditorium this morning:

The Metropolitan Police Officer of the Year is Officer Adam Roberg. Officer Roberg patrols the Chinatown area and is diligent and determined to keep the community safe. In 2012, he made over 100 arrests and issued more than 700 citations. By tracking crime trends, Officer Roberg determined that most property crime suspects were using bicycles as their preferred mode of transportation, and he began targeting untaxed bicycles in downtown. He seized almost 100 bicycles, which had a positive impact on reducing the property crime in the area.

The Police Corporal of the Year is Corporal Mark Kono. Corporal Kono is a 22-year veteran and is currently assigned to District 2's Crime Reduction Unit. His contributions have been critical to the unit's success and paramount in the reduction of crime in the district. Corporal Kono has gained the community's trust, which helps in solving crimes and locating fugitives. He also assisted in apprehending three escapees from the Waiawa Correctional Center, reducing property crime by investigating reported cases and capturing those responsible, and apprehending a female who was wanted by the U.S. Postal Service for stealing mail.

The Sergeant of the Year is Sergeant Duane Samson. Sergeant Samson was assigned to the District 4 (Windward Oahu) Community Policing Team (CPT) until retiring in April after 25 years of service. His in-depth knowledge of community challenges, positive attitude, and leadership have provided the team with a solid foundation for success. By partnering with the community, Sergeant Samson and his team aided in countless crime-reducing measures, including community traffic awareness, school presentations, neighborhood security watches, citizen patrols, and beautification projects. Sergeant Samson and his team also made over 225 arrests and issued over 300 citations. In December of 2012, the Honolulu City Council issued a resolution recognizing Sergeant Samson and his team's service and commitment to creating safer neighborhoods.

Sergeant Samson is also the Honolulu Police Department's 2013 Police Officer of the Year.

The Detective of the Year is Detective John Chinen Jr. Detective Chinen was promoted to the rank of detective in 2003 and is currently assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division's Financial Crimes Detail. In 2012, Detective Chinen was assigned to investigate financial crimes involving seniors. One case involved multiple elderly victims who lived in the same condominium. Through investigation, Detective Chinen identified the suspect, who worked as the building's security guard. The suspect confessed to committing more than 20 forgeries and burglarizing 16 apartments to obtain checks and personal information. Detective Chinen's personnel file is filled with commendations and letters of appreciation describing his professionalism, compassion, and willingness to go above and beyond.

The Lieutenant of the Year is Lieutenant John McCarthy. Lieutenant McCarthy is a 36-year police veteran and assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division's Financial Crimes Detail. Lieutenant McCarthy supervises 11 detectives, and his detail receives approximately 400 new cases each month. Despite the high volume of investigations, Lieutenant McCarthy is committed and passionate about his work and diligently seeks justice for each and every victim. He has conducted numerous presentations to educate the public about scams and how to avoid becoming a victim.

The Civilian Manager/Supervisor of the Year is Thalia Burns. Ms. Burns joined the department in 1983 and works in the Communications Division as a supervising police radio dispatcher. Ms. Burns and her team have worked on upgrades to the department's dispatch system software which serves as the backbone of HPD's communications service. Her team has also been successful with many other projects, including 911 Project Management, Next Generation 911 Technology, and 911 Technology Transition.

The Civilian Employee of the Year is Emily K. Ogasawara. Ms. Ogasawara is assigned to the Information Technology Division for the past seven years and has been an outstanding employee. She received a commendation from the Department of Justice for her work in creating a language access policy to bring our department in line with federal standards, ensuring continued federal financial assistance. She also received a departmental commendation for removing e-waste materials to a collection site for proper disposal.

At the ceremony, the Honolulu Police Department also recognized seven employees with 35 years of city service, and 83 employees with 25 years of service.