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Honolulu officer dies from injuries sustained in July motorcycle crash

Officer Bill Sapolu’s final act of service was “donating his organs to save the lives of others,” his family said


Honolulu Police Department

Duty Death: Bill Sapolu - [Honolulu]

End of Service: 08/08/2023

By Peter Boylan
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

HONOLULU — A Honolulu Police Department motorcycle officer died Tuesday from injuries he suffered in a July 11 traffic accident in Kapolei, but not before he donated his organs to save lives.

Officer Bill Sapolu, a 21-year HPD veteran, was riding toward town east of Fort Barrette Road to assist another officer with a weapons call at about 9 p.m. on July 11 when his motorcycle struck a concrete median on Farrington Highway in Kapolei.

Sapolu was thrown from his bike and suffered multiple injuries. He was transported to The Queen’s Medical Center, where he remained hospitalized until medical options were exhausted and Sapolu’s family followed his wishes and donated his organs.

Sapolu, an Army National Guard veteran, spent 22 years in the military and completed four overseas deployments, including a posting in Afghanistan.

“Today, in a final act of service, he donated his organs to save the lives of others, " read a statement from Sapolu’s family posted on HPD’s social media feeds. “Our family is thankful for the outpouring of love that we’ve received these past few weeks and look forward to the continued support of the community Bill loved and served.”

Sapolu is the 16th solo motorcycle officer to die in the line of duty since April 30, 1916.

At 2 p.m. Monday, officers performed a walk of honor in The Queen’s Medical Center’s intensive care unit to honor Sapolu before his “last selfless act of love.”

“Consistent with a life committed to the service of others, we know that this is something he absolutely would have wanted, " wrote HPD Lt. Kevin Napoleon in a note circulated through the ranks notifying officers about the walk of honor.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said he was saddened by the tragic loss of Sapolu.

“His unwavering commitment to upholding the law and ensuring the safety of our residents is a testament to his character and selflessness, " Blangiardi said in a statement. “We mourn alongside his family, friends and fellow HPD officers during this difficult time. We must remember and honor his sacrifice by continuing to support and appreciate the courageous men and women who put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep us safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones as they navigate through this heartbreaking loss.”

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers said Sapolu’s death is a “tragic reminder of the dangers our officers face every day as they patrol our roads to help keep our community safe.”

“On behalf of the Honolulu chapter board of directors of SHOPO, I express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Honolulu Police Department solo bike officer Bill Sapolu, who succumbed to injuries related to an on-duty motorcycle collision. Officer Sapolu will be remembered as a fine officer and an outstanding human being who deeply loved his family, his community and our profession, " said Robert Cavaco, SHOPO president. “Bill was our brother, our friend and our colleague. He will be missed. ... We ask everyone to please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during their time of grief and loss.”

Sapolu is survived by his wife, Chrissy, and their children. Memorial services are pending.


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