Making their way through dense forest in the pouring rain late at night, two officers spent hours searching for a missing woman in Mountain View. For their efforts in locating the woman, Officers Kyle Murray and Officer Devin Ah Chong were honored as Officers of the Month for August 2022 by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i during a ceremony in Hilo on Thursday, October 27, 2022.
On July 14, 2022, at 2:14 a.m., Puna patrol officers Murray and Ah Chong responded to a report of a neighbor hearing someone calling out for help from the forest in Hawaiian Acres. Upon arrival, the officers could barely hear the sound of a voice in the distance coming from a heavily forested area with no clear-cut access. Visibility and sound were also hampered by heavy rain.
Recognizing the need to locate the person quickly, Officers Murray and Ah Chong began to forge a trail in the direction of the voice calling out for help. After searching in thick brush in the rain and dark for more than three hours, the officers located a disoriented woman at the bottom of a ditch. The woman had fallen into the ditch earlier in the day, hitting her head, which caused her to lose consciousness. Unable to get out of the ditch, she was stranded for more than 12 hours with no food, water, warm clothing, or medical supplies. Officers Murray and Ah Chong assisted her out of the forest safely whereupon medics on scene treated her injuries.
The unrelenting determination of the two officers was instrumental in bringing a potentially life-threatening situation to a successful and happy conclusion. They embody Hawaii Police Department’s core value of compassion and teamwork.
Every month the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i honors a police officer in East Hawaii as their officer of the month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the police districts in Area I, including Hāmākua, North Hilo, South Hilo, and Puna, and a winner is selected. All officers selected for Officer of the Month are eligible to be selected as the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i Officer of the Year.
Pictured: James Sanborn of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i, Officer Kyle Murray, Officer Devin Ah Chong, and Puna District Captain Scott Amaral.