Officers of the Year 09-27-06

PHONE: 961-2244
SEPTEMBER 27, 2006


Two Kona police officers have been named "Officer of the Year" in separate ceremonies by different organizations.

Kona Detective Gerald Wike was named the Hawaii Police Department’s "Officer of the Year" by the Hawaii State Law Enforcement Officials Association.

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee named vice Officer Edwin Buyten "Officer of the Year" for fiscal year 2005-2006.

Since 1997, Wike has been a member of Kona’s Juvenile Aid Section, where he was promoted to detective in November 2004. His supervisor, Lieutenant Randal Ishii, nominated him for the award, saying that he was impressed by the quality and thoroughness of Wike’s investigations and that the detective’s hard work led to the resolution of many serious felonies.

"He’s an outstanding employee," Ishii said. "He’s awesome."

In one case, Wike was assigned to follow up on a reported auto theft involving two teenage boys found with $102,000 in stolen goods. The thefts triggered eight felony investigations. Ishii said that as a result of Wike’s diligence, all of the items were returned to their owners, Wike obtained confessions from the youths and both of them were sent to a secure detention facility on >Oahu>.

In addition to Wike’s hard work solving crimes, he is one of the officers who have taught for several years at Project IMPACT (Incorporated Measures to Prevent Alcohol Consumption by Teenagers) on the last Saturday of each month at the Kona police station. The purpose of Project IMPACT is to increase the public’s understanding of the Police Department’s three-step approach to underage drinking: enforcement, education and ownership.

"It goes without saying how dedicated an employee Detective Wike is," Ishii said. "He is truly an asset to the Hawaii Police Department and exemplifies the Hawaii Police Department’s core values of having integrity, being professional, having compassion, utilizing teamwork and attaining the end result, which is community satisfaction."

The Hawaii State Law Enforcement Officials Association presented Wike’s award at a September 7 banquet ceremony at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on >Oahu>. Attending from the Police Department were Police Chief Lawrence Mahuna, Deputy Police Chief Harry Kubojiri, the chief’s secretary, Lynn Miyamoto and Lieutenant Ishii. Also in attendance were Police Commissioners Pudding Lassiter, James Frazier, Louis Kaoiwi, Anita Politano Steckel and Kaloa Robinson, as well as the commission’s secretary, Josie Pelayo.

Buyten, who works in the Kona vice section and is also a narcotics canine handler, was honored during a ceremony on September 13, 2006, at the Royal Kona Resort. He was chosen from among all the "Officer of the Month" recipients during the 2005-2006 fiscal year. He was the only officer named "Officer of the Month" twice during that period.  In July 2005 Buyten was the sole recipient; in May 2006 he shared the title with Acting Detective Paula Jelsma.

The first recognition was for two arrests Buyten made in January 2005. He arrested a man with crystal methamphetamine during a routine traffic stop. A day later he spotted a vehicle that had been seen at the scene of a home burglary and recovered the stolen property.

In May 2006 Buyten and Jelsma were honored for locating juveniles who had broken into a business, killed a pet parrot and taken clothing from the store. Buyten also was recognized that month for identifying a stolen vehicle being driven by a known felon wanted for robbery, burglary and abuse of a 3-year-old child.

Captain Robert Hickcox, commander of the Criminal Investigations Division in Kona described Buyten as highly motivated and very conscientious both as a canine handler and in initiating narcotics investigations.

"His enthusiasm for his job and ability to work with people makes him a valuable asset to the Area II Vice Section," Hickcox said. "Although he has been recognized several times for his past achievements, he remains humble in recognizing his peers as the team that makes his work enjoyable."

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