The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Brian Beckwith as “Officer of the Month” for April in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (April 6) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.
Beckwith was honored for his compassion and integrity.
On February 14, Officer Beckwith responded to a report of a man in a wheelchair at the Kailua Pier who appeared to need assistance. The 78-year-old man, who had lost both his legs due to a medical condition, told the officer someone had stolen the battery charger to his electric wheelchair. He was unable to care for himself and had been stranded on the pier since the previous day. Beckwith attempted to contact numerous social service agencies to help the man, but, as it was a three-day weekend, he was unable to reach anyone who could help.
As a short-term solution, Beckwith reserved a hotel room in Waimea. After completing his shift, he drove the man to the hotel. During his days off, he visited the man several times a day, cleaning him and providing food and company.
Beckwith learned that the man was a Korean War veteran and that he had an appointment with the Veterans Administration on February 16. Beckwith drove him to the VA office and attempted to get him placed in a suitable living environment. When the VA was unable to help, Beckwith continued to provide assistance.
The following day, while on duty, Beckwith located a Kona resident with the same wheelchair as the veteran’s. He borrowed the Kona resident’s battery charger and charged the veteran’s wheelchair.
With continued persistence, Beckwith was able to obtain placement for the veteran with help from Adult Protective Services.
Beckwith, who joined the Hawaiʻi Police Department three years ago, served in the U.S. Coast Guard for four years. For the past six years, he has been a combat medic as an active reserve for the Department of the Army.
As “Officer of the Month,” Beckwith is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”
The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.