Officer/Firefighter of the Year 03-13-09

Hawai’i Police Department
Office of the Chief
Harry S. Kubojiri
Phone: 961-2244
March 13, 2009

(See larger image here.)
…Aloha Exchange Club President Winston Churchill presents plaques to ‘Firefighter of the Year’ James Wilson and’ Officer of the Year’ Joseph Passmore.

Media Release

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii recognized Officer Joseph Passmore as "Officer of the Year" and James Wilson as "Fire Fighter of the Year" in a dinner ceremony Thursday evening.

Passmore is a patrol officer in the Puna District who joined the Police Department in May 2006. Wilson joined the Fire department in September 1998 and is now a Fire Rescue Specialist at the Waiākea fire station.

Passmore was honored for volunteering to spend the entire month of November patrolling the beat that includes the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision. The area had experienced numerous burglaries and thefts from vacant homes and houses under construction.

Just before midnight on November 8, Passmore conducted a traffic stop on a car that was driving recklessly in Hawaiian Paradise Park. The driver, a felon on parole, was arrested for several traffic offenses. Further investigation led to the recovery of stolen property from a home under construction in the subdivision, as well as to methamphetamine and marijuana in the suspect’s car.

Major Samuel Thomas, who said the driver is now incarcerated and is a suspect in 40-50 cases, commended Passmore for his dedication. "Day in and day out, he does a good job," Thomas said, "and we’re really proud of him."

In accepting his award, Passmore thanked God, the Aloha Exchange Club, his family, his Police Department role models and his fellow officers. He said it was tips from other police officers that led to the arrest. "This award belongs to the officers of Puna," he said.

Wilson was recognized for his commitment to public safety and community service. In 2008, he volunteered to represent the Fire Department in an ongoing career education program in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America. The Explorer Program is designed to provide young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20 with an opportunity to actively consider fire fighting as a career option. Through seven weekend sessions, the participants go through a condensed version of the fire fighter recruit curriculum.  

"He’s been a tremendous mentor," said Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira.

Wilson thanked his family and Chief Oliveira. "I don’t do things to be recognized," he said, "but it is a good thing to be recognized."

The Officer of the Year and Fire Fighter of the year awards are projects of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i.

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