The Aloha Exchange Club has honored Officer Daniel Tam as the March “Officer of the Month.”
Officer Tam, a 4-year veteran, was selected based upon his remarkable diligence in performing his duties as a police officer with the most recent examples of his efforts as highlighted below.
On February 8, 2018, at the start of his Third Watch shift, Officer Tam met with a 31-year old female “walk-in” at the Pāhoa Police Station. She stated that earlier in the afternoon she had lost her wallet, believing this occurred while she was in the process of dropping off donation items at a collection point in Kalapana. Upon realizing the wallet was missing she went back to the area but was unsuccessful in finding it and was concerned due to the personal information contained therein.
Officer Tam, feeling compassion for this citizen under the circumstances, elected to put forth a little more effort then what was normally required for a simple lost property case, this by driving the 15-mile distance down to Kalapana to further conduct checks on his own. Upon arrival, in addition to making a physical search, he also contacted people who were in the vicinity of the donation collection shed, letting them know what he was there looking for. Spending time conducting extensive checks he was successful in locating the described wallet beneath the shed, covered by leaves. It was complete and all items accounted for. Officer Tam then promptly met with and returned the wallet to the owner who was extremely grateful, appreciative, and relieved.
On February 12, 2018 at approximately 4 p.m., Officer Tam was assigned to a reported theft in the Eden Roc Subdivision. A 62-year old victim reported discovering that an unknown suspect had removed several generators and tools from a covered area of his property, occurring earlier in the day. After taking the initial report Officer Tam began canvassing the area conducting neighborhood checks in an attempt to develop any leads.
While making checks Officer Tam noticed a male on a bicycle slowly riding past and looking up the victim’s driveway. While later driving past the area Officer Tam observed the same bicycle lying on the ground unattended. Upon stopping to investigate further Officer Tam observed the male party suddenly exiting the bushes 10 feet away from the victim’s driveway. He contacted and questioned the suspicious male as to what he was doing in the area; the male party identified himself and claimed to be looking for a lost dog.
Officer Tam on a hunch had dispatch run the name in the Record Management System and was advised that the male had an outstanding warrant; subsequently he arrested the 24-year old. Officer Tam then checked the trail through the brush from where the male party had come from and in doing so came across and recovered all of the victim’s stolen property. The victim upon notification was ecstatic and extremely thankful to be receiving his property back, and in such a short time. Following the arrest Officer Tam also recovered marijuana and 24 rounds of ammunition from the suspect’s backpack; total bail for the felony theft and other offenses was set at $2900.
On February 18, 2018, after clearing Third Watch briefing officers were assigned to a structure fire at a residence in Hawaiian Paradise Park, reportedly caused from a lightning strike. Upon hearing the report, Officer Tam expeditiously headed to the scene while dispatch provided additional information that bystanders were seen entering the house.
Officer Tam, a former U.S. Navy firefighter, was the initial first responder on scene, assessing the situation upon his arrival. He grabbed a t-shirt off the clothes line and used this t o mask his mouth and nose as he entered the heavily smoke-filled house with fellow Officer Tristin Allen to insure that no persons were inside, and in doing so encountered the 75-year old tenant and directed him out. Officer Tam used a department issued fire extinguisher to put out the flames coming from a propane fueled stove in the kitchen area while the fire was still relatively moderate in nature and isolated to that area.
“These are just several examples of exceptional performance that Officer Tam accomplishes on a daily basis by demonstrating a strong, proactive work ethic, going beyond the norm,” HPD said in a release. “He displays the knowledge and awareness of a seasoned veteran while exhibiting a personable attitude with his fellow workers and citizens alike.
“Officer Daniel Tam consistently demonstrates his commitment to providing the highest quality of police service to our community, embodying the Hawaii Police Department Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compas sion, Teamwork, and Community Satisfaction.”
HPD image depicts Officer Daniel Tam left and John Stewart right.