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Bustamante wins top police safety award


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POSTED: Monday, November 30, 2009

The Honolulu Police Department announced the winners of its 2009 Third Quarter Awards to officers and civilians who made significant contributions to public safety.

Officer Antonio Bustamante received the department's highest honor, the Gold Medal of Valor, for saving the life of an elderly woman who was alone in a burning home in Kailua.

Officer Duane Espinueva is the Employee of the Third Quarter for excellence as the acting sergeant for the Fourth Watch Detail in District 1 (Chinatown) following a high-profile murder and retaliation shooting. He provided effective training, strong leadership, and served as a role model for officers, a release said.

The Narcotics/Vice Airport Operations Group, which consists of three teams, is the Unit of the Third Quarter. The Parcel Interdiction Team includes Detective Ryan Okabe; officers Charley Cervantes, Paul Awana and William Lu; and Bruce Kim. The Canine Team is made up of Detective Kaipo Miller; officers Herb Nakamura, Kriss Cockett and Jeffery Mertens; deputy sheriffs Pat Lewis and Randy Silva. The Marijuana Eradication Team consists of Detective Shannon Kawakami; officers Kerry Matsusaka, Hall Hirano, Joseph Amasiu and Joseph Hanawahine; Reserve Officer Craig Tavares; and senior clerk typist Francine Guzman.

Thalia Burns and David Diamond received Certificates of Merit for two years of updating the HPD Communications Division for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Officers Linda Robertson and Mark Montez received Certificates of Merit for saving the life of a woman who suffered a massive heart attack with an automated external defibrillator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Certificates of Merit were also awarded to eight members of the Records and Identification Division for saving more than 100 boxes of important documents when the HPD's evidence warehouse was flooded. They are Sgts. George Clark and Darren Nihipali; officer Herbert Lau; Lenora Ishihara, Gale Linear, Johanna Saavedra, Patti Watanabe-Zane, and Suzy Yamasaki.