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Officers Souki and Namohala are East Hawaii’s Officers of the Month


The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Officer Brian Souki as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for March and Edwin Namohala as “Officer of the Month” for April.

The awards were presented during a luncheon ceremony at the Hilo Yacht Club on Thursday (April 23).

Souki, a Puna Patrol officer, was honored for his role in capturing two suspects in a string of islandwide auto thefts.

Namohala, who is assigned to the South Hilo Patrol District, received his award for a burglary investigation.

On January 24, Officer Souki was patrolling in the Ainaloa subdivision when he observed suspicious behavior. A man parked a red Mazda RX-7 along Ainaloa Boulevard and then exited the car, entered a black Honda coupe and left the area.

Souki noted the license plate of the Honda and then determined that the Mazda had been reported stolen during a burglary the previous night, along with firearms and two other vehicles.

When another patrol unit arrived to assist in securing the stolen Mazda, Souki conducted a search and located the Honda at a home in the same subdivision. Souki arrested a man and a juvenile male before they had a chance to flee. He determined that the Honda’s identification numbers had been removed.

Detectives executed a search warrant on the Honda and recovered a glass smoking pipe with methamphetamine residue, a packet containing 2.8 grams of methamphetamine and the stolen firearm.

The adult was arrested for auto theft, altering motor vehicle serial numbers, promoting a dangerous drug and drug paraphernalia. The juvenile was arrested for contempt of court and altering motor vehicle serial numbers.

Police recovered both vehicles.

“Officer Souki’s determination and thorough investigation led to the capture of two elusive individuals consistently involved in numerous auto thefts and burglary,” said Acting Sergeant Nelson Acob in nomination papers. “His actions exemplify our department’s core values of integrity, professionalism, compassion, teamwork and community satisfaction.”

Namohala’s award stemmed from an assignment to investigate a burglary on February 23. Someone had attempted to make entry into the Kapualani Street home of an 88-year-old Hilo man, who was able to provide a description. Officer Namohala made checks in the neighborhood and discovered that a home on the same street had been broken into and that the suspect had removed numerous items including electronics and mail. Namohala’s investigation led to the identity of the suspect, a 19-year-old man who had an outstanding arrest warrant.

The following day Officer Namohala spotted the suspect, who was on foot in the area of Puainako Street and Kawili Street. He was wearing a backpack that belonged to the second burglary victim. Namohala called for assistance from other officers in the area. After a short foot chase, the suspect was arrested on the warrant as well as for drug offenses stemming from an inventory search.

Further investigation by Namohala and officers from a special Burglary Detail linked the suspect to the two burglaries and led to the recovery of items taken from the second house. The suspect was charged with numerous offenses.

“Although the investigation was taken over by officers specifically assigned to burglaries, I have no doubt that Officer Namohala has the investigative skill and techniques that would have led to the same outcome,” said Sergeant Lorenzo Artienda, in nomination papers. “As the supervisor on duty, I was greatly impressed by the investigative efforts put forth by Officer Namohala. He showed a great deal of determination in his attempts to identify and arrest a suspect in a Hilo neighborhood plagued by burglaries.”

As “Officer of the Month,” both Souki and Namohala are eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

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