The following awards were presented during the Honolulu Police Department’s (HPD) Service and Awards Ceremony at the Alapai headquarters on May 12, 2021. Due to last year’s cancellation of Police Week activities, the awards for 2020 and 2021 were presented this year. Videos from the ceremony can be viewed here.
2020 Police Officer of the Year: Officer Thomas Billins
Officer Thomas Billins is a 10-year veteran and was previously assigned to the Traffic Division. As the lead instructor and subject matter expert in impaired driving and drug recognition, his investigations resulted in several drivers being charged with Habitual Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant. His investigative work also led to a conviction in a fatal traffic collision. In addition to his regular duties, Officer Billins volunteers with Special Olympics Hawaii. Officer Billins consistently goes above and beyond the scope of his duties and has made a positive impact at the HPD and in the community.
2021 Police Officer of the Year: Officer Lisa-Marie Like
Officer Lisa-Marie Like is a 19-year veteran and was previously assigned to District 3 (Pearl City/Waipahu). In 2020, she responded to more than 1,700 cases, submitted 460 written cases, and issued more than 1,400 citations while proactively patrolling and serving the community. During that time, there were property crimes and violence occurring in the Halawa area involving juveniles. 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. Soon after, crime decreased in the area. Officer Like continues to serve the community with the spirit of aloha.
2020 Reserve Officer of the Year: Reserve Officer Kent Harada
For the last nine years, Reserve Officer Kent Harada has actively served the community by regularly patrolling “hotspot” areas in District 4 (Windward Oahu). In 2019, he responded to approximately 90 cases, submitted approximately 10 written cases, and issued more than 50 citations. His high visibility and police presence has deterred many vehicles thefts at popular beach parks. Reserve Officer Harada logged more than 400 volunteer hours between District 4, District 6 (Waikiki), and the Community Affairs Division. With more than 48 years with the HPD, Reserve Officer Harada continues to be a great leader and role model for younger officers.
2021 Reserve Officer of the Year: Reserve Officer Nicholas Akaka
Since 2019, Reserve Officer Nicholas Akaka has been assigned to the Community Affairs Division. In 2020, he dedicated more than 300 volunteer hours to the Juvenile Services Section (JSS) and helped re-establish the Runaway Detail. He also assisted the JSS process more than 600 diversion letters and distributed more than 1,600 juvenile packets to city and state agencies. When the pandemic hit, Reserve Officer Akaka readily volunteered at COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, food distribution events, and funeral services for current and retired HPD officers. With more than 30 years with the HPD, Reserve Officer Akaka continues to make a positive impact in the community.
2020 Civilian Employee of the Year: Ms. Tracey Kawakami
Ms. Tracey Kawakawmi 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. She coordinated and managed purchases, overtime payments, and audits for more than $2 million in federal grants. Ms. Kawakami was also instrumental in assisting with audits conducted by the Professional Standards Office and the Department of Transportation, helping the HPD remain transparent and efficient. Her dedication and high-quality work make her an invaluable member of the Traffic Division and HPD.
2021 Civilian Employee of the Year: Ms. Ida Quinn
For the past 45 years, Ms. Ida Quinn has been assigned to the Records and Identification Division. As a supervisor in the Evidence Room, Ms. Quinn works with many divisions in the HPD as well as outside agencies including the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney (DPA) and Secret Service. As an evidence custodian, she is constantly seeking additional storage space and works with the DPA to dispose of evidence that is no longer needed for prosecution. Ms. Quinn possesses a wealth of knowledge in administration, civil process, criminal justice, and evidence and found property. She readily shares that knowledge with sworn and civilian personnel and is a highly valued member of the Evidence Room staff.
2020 Outstanding Citizen of the Year: Mr. Warren Lilo
Mr. Warren Lilo is the executive director of the Life 360 Network, an organization dedicated to empowering Hawaii’s youth. For the past decade, Mr. Lilo’s organization has worked with the HPD by reaching out to at-risk youth. Together, they have organized Citizens’ Patrol groups, community clean-up projects, and youth programs. Through these partnerships, the HPD is able to build positive relationships with youth, their families, and others in the community.
2021 Outstanding Citizen of the Year: Mr. Michael Kitchens
Mr. Michael Kitchens is the creator and administrator of the popular Facebook group, Stolen Stuff Hawaii (SSH). Created in 2014, Mr. Kitchens and his team of 18 moderators post and facilitate content for the group, which has more than 138,000 members. Through SSH, the HPD is able to share information with a diverse and larger audience. Mr. Kitchens is a valuable resource in the HPD’s fight against crime and a liaison to individuals who are reluctant to speak with police or CrimeStoppers. He is a true supporter of safe communities and law enforcement efforts.