For his leadership, high-level work ethic, and unwavering service to Hawai‘i Police Department and the community, Captain Rio Amon-Wilkins, was honored with the Haweo award during a ceremony held at Hawai‘i County Council chambers in Hilo on Tuesday, November 1, 2022.
The award was presented by the Council’s Parks and Recreation and Public Safety Committee, which recognizes county police and fire department personnel who go above and beyond the call of duty. Haweo, for which this award is named, means to glow or to be radiant. Captain Amon-Wilkins was presented with a lei and a certificate signed by each Councilmember at the ceremony.
Captain Amon-Wilkins is Commander of the Area I Criminal Investigation Division, which is comprised of the Juvenile Aid Section, Vice Section, Criminal Investigation Section, and Crime Lab, totaling 35 employees.
As leader of the Area I Criminal Investigation Division, Captain Amon-Wilkins is charged with investigating the most heinous of crimes, ranging from sexual assault to murder. He previously served as the Lieutenant of CIS and Juvenile Aid Section respectively, before being promoted to Captain.
A 23-year veteran of the department, Amon-Wilkins has earned the respect of other captains within the department for his quick responsiveness regardless of the time of day or night, his positive impact on criminal investigations, and the confidence he inspires in the men and women working under him.
His guidance to patrol officers helps ensure they consistently make the right calls at serious felony investigations, and he promotes a positive learning experience when they call for advice. When there are questions about the way a specific investigation was handled, Captain Amon-Wilkins shares the positives and pitfalls of the investigation, teaching newer officers how to improve on their craft.
The following incident is one of many that highlights the Captain’s skills and leadership. On June 29, 2022, Captain Amon-Wilkins was notified of a reported homicide in a lower Puna community. Even though the crime scene was more than 20 miles from his office, Captain Amon-Wilkins was on scene within 30 minutes with his team and took charge of the investigation, assigning personnel to interviews and evidence recovery.
While there, a male party provided information that led to the successful apprehension of a suspect, and Captain Amon-Wilkins directly assisted in the arrest. His calm demeanor, experience, and leadership at the scene directly resulted in the arrest and charging of a male suspect for murder. At the scene, it was evident that Captain Amon-Wilkins has a good working relationship with his investigative personnel and has confidence in their investigative abilities.
Captain Amon-Wilkins consistently demonstrates the department‘s core values of integrity, professionalism, compassion, teamwork, and community satisfaction.