The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Randy Morris as “Officer of the Month” for December in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (December 5) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.
Morris, a HI-PAL officer in Kona, was honored for an arrest that curtailed a spike in burglaries in West Hawaiʻi.
During August and September police responded to the rash of burglaries by forming a special task force to identify and locate burglary suspects. Although Morris was not a part of that task force, he made it a point to educate himself about the known suspects. One of them was a 31-year-old man who was also wanted for escape and was considered armed and dangerous. His name was Ryan Jeffries-Hamar.
While Morris was pulling into a gas station on his day off, he recognized Jeffries-Hamar at one of the pumps. He confronted the suspect, who ran away in an attempt to evade capture. Without hesitation, Morris followed and was able to apprehend the suspect after a 50-yard foot chase.
Through continued investigation and with the assistance of the Criminal Investigations Section, Morris was able to recover 22 stolen items. With the suspect in custody, the number of reported residential burglaries in the Kona District decreased by 90 percent.
As “Officer of the Month,” Morris is eligible to become “Officer of the Year.”
Jeffries-Hamar escaped again from the custody of the Department of Public Safety again on Wednesday morning (December 5). He was one of two inmates who escaped from Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center and was the subject of an intensive manhunt in Hilo at the time of the “Officer of the Month” luncheon in Kona honoring Officer Morris.
The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.