For his quick life-saving actions in two different situations, Officer Robert McKay Jr. was recognized by the Hawai‘i Island Security and Safety Professionals Association (HISSPA) as the HISSPA Officer of the Quarter for Q3 2022 on Friday, November 18, 2022.
A 10-year veteran of the department assigned to the South Kohala district, Officer McKay Jr. cares deeply for the welfare and well-being of everyone within the community with an emphasis on children and those with developmental disabilities.
On the evening of Monday, August 15, 2022, Central Dispatch received a report of a 15-year-old female attempting to commit suicide within a Waimea residence. Familiar with the parties involved through prior contacts, Officer McKay Jr. responded to the residence as fast as safely possible in hopes of preventing the child from harming herself. While enroute, he learned that the teen had locked herself in a bathroom and that she was not breathing.
Arriving on scene, Officer McKay Jr. ran into the house and observed the child’s mother knocking on the bathroom door with no response from within. He immediately breached the door and observed the unresponsive teen. He was able to revive the girl and exhibited an inordinate amount of compassion consoling her until Hawai‘i Fire Department medics arrived on scene to treat her.
Based on his investigative skills and knowledge gained during past interactions, Officer McKay Jr. was concerned that the child needed immediate intervention and placement to prevent a second suicide attempt. He contacted the State of Hawai‘i Child Welfare Services and informed them of the facts and circumstances related to the incident. Without Officer McKay’s rapid action and compassion, this situation could have ended in tragedy.
Roughly two weeks later, on September 1, 2022, Officer McKay Jr. once again responded to a life-or-death situation, this time a report of a stabbing at a Waikoloa resort. It was reported that a woman had been stabbed and was trapped with the suspect in the same room.
Responding quickly, Officer McKay Jr. was the first officer on scene. When he arrived at the hotel room he saw the victim’s room door was partially open with profuse amounts of blood smeared over the entire floor. He then spotted the victim drenched in blood behind the door. Recognizing that the victim needed immediate medical intervention to save her life and knowing that the suspect was within the room with a weapon, Officer McKay Jr. exemplified courage in the face of danger and entered the room in search of the suspect.
Observing an exorbitant amount of blood in several areas of the room, Officer McKay Jr. discovered the suspect lying in the bedroom of the suite unresponsive. Scanning the dark area for a weapon, the officer initially did not see a serrated steak knife near the suspect’s feet. Determining that the suspect was alive but unconscious, he secured the suspect and placed him in the recovery position (laying on his side to prevent asphyxiation and choking), which prompted the suspect to vomit.
Retrieving some towels, Officer McKay Jr. returned to the victim and instructed her to apply firm pressure to the stab wounds to stop the bleeding. He then alerted Emergency Medical Services (EMS) that the scene was safe for them to respond. EMS medics responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital.
Officer McKay Jr. undoubtedly saved the lives of both the victim and the suspect with his rapid response, quick thinking, and courage to enter a deadly situation alone with very little information.
The suspect was subsequently charged with second-degree attempted murder and remains in the custody of the Hawai‘i Department of Public Safety.
Officer McKay Jr. embodies the core values of the Hawai‘i Police Department and sets the standard for integrity, professionalism, compassion, team work and community satisfaction.
Pictured: Officer Robert McKay Jr. and Sergeant Thomas Chun-Ming.