The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Kona Patrol Officer Darren Cho as “Officer of the Month” for July in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (July 1) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.
Cho was honored for intervening when a known criminal suspect attempted to provide a false name to another officer.
Cho was familiar with the man from past investigations and knew him to carry firearms. He contacted the other officer and gave him the man’s real name.
He then investigated the man’s pickup truck because of the man’s prior alleged involvement with car thefts and other property crimes. Cho discovered that the truck’s front and rear license plates didn’t match. Further investigation revealed that the truck was stolen. Drugs and a sawed-off shotgun were found in the stolen truck.
The suspect was arrested and taken to the Kona police station while Cho helped detectives continue the investigation, which led to seven felony charges and four misdemeanor charges.
Sergeant David Araki, who nominated Cho for the award, described him as a positive role model. “I believe that through the tireless efforts of Officer Darren Cho, police were able to get a potentially dangerous man and weapon off of the streets,” Cho wrote in nomination papers.
As “Officer of the Month,” Cho is eligible to become “Officer of the Year.”
The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.