Hawaii Island police officer, firefighter honored for tenacious leadership

Pictured from left to right: Hawai‘i Police Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz, Officer Michael Sailer,...
Pictured from left to right: Hawai‘i Police Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz, Officer Michael Sailer, Fire Captain Jon Wayne Boteilho, Hawai‘i Fire Department Deputy Chief Eric Moller, County of Hawai‘i Managing Director Lee Lord.(Hawaii Police Department)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 7:12 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii Island police officer and a firefighter were both honored in recent ceremonies for their tenacious leadership and heroic efforts.

Puna Patrol Officer Michael Sailer was chosen as Hawaii Island’s 2022 Officer of the Year.

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii recognized Sailer for his lifesaving efforts involving a man who was kidnapped and tortured in Volcano last June.

The Hawaii Police Department said the five-year veteran was told only that a dropped 911 call from a cell phone had been received from the remote rural area. And despite having little to no information to guide him, Sailer was able to save a man’s life.

Police said he found tactical gear, an assault rifle, a pistol, ammunition and evidence of a kidnapping and assault that had taken place in the home. They said it appeared that the two males in the residence may have intended on killing the victim and covering up the incident.

The teen and male adult suspect were eventually charged with a variety of crimes, including kidnapping and assault.

“Officer Sailer’s dedication to duty and willingness to conduct a thorough search of the area led to him finding the residence, and ultimately the victim in this case,” Hawaii Police Chief Ben Moszkowicz said.

“His actions literally saved the life of the male victim, who would otherwise have been killed.”

Also recognized was Fire Captain Jon Wayne Boteilho as Hawaii Island’s 2022 Firefighter of the Year.

He’s in charge of the department’s Respiratory Management Program which maintains critical breathing devices.

The department recognized the 18-year veteran for consistently going above and beyond the call of duty, maintaining mechanical equipment.

By handling routine repairs in-house, they say he saves the department time and money while ensuring the station’s apparatus are at the ready for the numerous calls they receive.

Boteilho travels around the island to all the stations to ensure personnel have properly maintained gear in addition to his regular duties at Captain.

His reason? “It will save the department money on overtime.”

“The selfless service and true humility displayed by Captain Boteilho is what every firefighter aspires to be,” said deputy Fire Chief Eric Moller.

“His work ethic and dedication to doing what is right is what makes him perfect for this award.”