A dedicated officer with a tremendous work ethic, Officer Manuel Soares was recognized by the Kona Crime Prevention Committee as Officer of the Month for January 2023 during an awards ceremony at Huggo’s on the Rocks in Kona, on Wednesday, January 4, 2023.
On the force for just under two years at the time of the incident, Officer Soares was nominated for the award as a result of his efforts tracking down a stolen car in Kona last winter. While on patrol in Kailua-Kona on January 12, 2022, Officer Soares overheard the report of a stolen vehicle on the police radio and began actively searching for the vehicle. The victim’s daughter reported seeing the stolen vehicle near a beach park with a female driver and male passenger. She began following the vehicle, reporting its current location to police dispatch as it was driving around town. Listening to the updated information as it was being provided by dispatch, Officer Soares located the stolen vehicle and conducted a traffic stop.
Recognizing the female driver and the male passenger from previous contact, Officer Soares confirmed that the pair did not have permission to use the vehicle and subsequently arrested both individuals. During the course of his investigation, Officer Soares recovered illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and more than $2,600 in U.S. currency from the pair’s belongings.
“Officer Soares has a tremendous work ethic,” says Kona Patrol Sergeant David Araki, who nominated Officer Soares for the award. “He is self-motivated and a selfless officer that is striving to make our community a safer place to live and work.”
Every month the Kona Crime Prevention Committee honors a police officer in west Hawai‘i as their Officer of the Month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the various police districts and a winner is selected by the KCPC board of directors. All officers selected for Officer of the Month are eligible to be selected as the Kona Crime Prevention Committee’s Officer of the Year.