Hawaiʻi Police Department
Office of the Chief
Harry S. Kubojiri
Officer Carrie Akina was named the Big Island’s “Officer of the Year” by the Hawaiʻi State Law Enforcement Officials Association at a banquet at the Hāpuna Beach Prince Hotel on September 23.
Akina received the honor for risking her own personal safety and welfare to rescue a swimmer in distress last November.
While conducting a narcotics investigation at Honl’s Beach on November 19, 2010, Akina observed a struggling swimmer. She immediately notified dispatch and requested Fire Rescue. She then got her personal boogie board out of the trunk of her car and entered the rough surf to rescue the 37-year-old New York man. While on her way to his side, she saw him submerged in the water for short periods of time. She was able to reach him quickly and assist him back to shore.
Patrol officers at the scene concurred that if Officer Akina had not reacted as swiftly and bravely as she did, the victim would have drowned.
Earlier this year, Akina received a Bronze Medal of Merit for her act of bravery. Chief Harry Kubojiri said Akina showed “true character” and demonstrated “great personal courage.”