Maui Officer Honored with Gold Medal of Valor, Two Promoted to Captain
Three police officers and a Maui citizen were honored today during a promotion ceremony and awards presentation at the Wailuku Police Station Station. Among those honored were Officer William Cleghorn, II who was involved in a fire rescue in Nāpili earlier this year, resident Sumner Erdman who helped police with a murder investigation in Kanaio, and officers Randy Esperanza and Wade Maeda who were promoted to the rank of Captain.
Officer William Cleghorn, II was honored with the department’s Gold Medal of Valor. He is credited with assisting a Nāpili resident during a residential fire on July 20, 2018. Police say Officer Cleghorn, II gained entry to the apartment and assisted the resident to safety. According to earlier reports, the fire occurred in the early morning hours at the Sunset Terrace Apartments in Honokōwai.
Maui police Lieutenant Gregg Okamoto said that when police arrived on scene, thick black smoke was seen coming from a third floor apartment. “The male resident was heard coughing but was unable to come to the door. Officers forced their way in. Officer Cleghorn fought his way through the smoke and crawled on his hands and knees to get to the resident. Officer Cleghorn then dragged the resident out of the apartment to safety,” said Lt. Okamoto.
Officer Cleghorn has four years of service with the Maui Police Department.
The awards portion of the event also included the presentation of a Certificate of Merit to Sumner Erdman, ʻUlupalakua Ranch general manager, for his assistance with a murder investigation in Kanaio on May 22, 2018.
Due to the remote and rocky terrain, the suspect, Justin Namauu, was able to evade police for days. Maui police Lieutenant Gregg Okamoto said Erdman allowed police to establish a command post an gave access and guidance to their property which led to the apprehension of the suspect. For this, Sumner Erdman was awarded the Department’s Certificate of Merit.
Honors also included the promotion of Randy Esperanza and Wade Maeda to the rank of Captain.
Randy Esperanza is a 22 year veteran of the Maui Police Department, who began his career in January of 1996. His assignments over the years included work in the Molokaʻi Patrol Division, Wailuku Patrol Division, Lahaina Patrol Division and the Vice Narcotics Division. He was also a Field Training Officer and a member of the Special Response Team. After being promoted to Sergeant, he was reassigned to the Molokaʻi Patrol Division and then to the Criminal Investigative Division. He also served as a Detective in the Internal Affairs Unit under the Office of the Chief and his previous assignment was Lieutenant in CID. He is now assigned to Technical Services.
Wade Maeda, a 21 year old veteran. He is assigned to the Quality Assurance Section. His previous assignment was Lieutenant with the Special Response Team. In 2011 he received the department’s Manager of the Year award.