Police officer Richard Carter dead at 58
By Hugh Clark
Advertiser Big Island Bureau
HILO, Hawai'i Richard "Dickie" Carter, the Big Island police officer who was in charge of destroying millions of marijuana plants, and later helped prosecute a well-known crime figure, died Thursday at The Queen's Medical Center.
Richard "Dickie" Carter was named state police officer of the year in 1984.
Carter was in charge of the Big Island vice squad, which was involved in Operation Green Harvest, a marijuana-eradication campaign in the late 1970s. He was also involved in the prosecution of organized-crime leader Henry Huihui and was chosen statewide police officer of the year in 1984.
He was "a man with a unique disposition and a very big heart," said Carter's brother, Maj. Morton Carter, also a police officer.
Morton Carter said his older brother was devoted to fighting organized crime, coaching youth sports and helping his alma mater, St. Joseph High School.
Richard Carter was an an all-star athlete into his 30s. He was a baseball catcher and held the island's prep shot put record for more than 30 years. He also was an all-league power forward in basketball.
The 6-foot-2 Carter weighed between 240 and 270 pounds most of his life. Retired Circuit Judge Shunichi Kimura once described Carter as "a huge guy who can speak gruffly ... (but) can establish a rapport with the heavies."
"He resolves cases because of his doggedness," Kimura said. "Emily Post he is not, but successful he is."
Carter also gained a reputation for raising money for community groups and youngsters involved in sports. He also served quietly as the hanai dad for kids of some of the people he helped convict. Huihui also corresponded with Carter from prison.
Carter is survived by his wife, Pamela; sons, Richard Jr. and Todd; daughters, Gayle Martin and Shelley Balleza; parents, Alexander Sr. and Grace Carter; brothers, Alexander Jr., David and Morton; and five grandchildren.
Visitation 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church in Keaukaha, Mass 12:30 p.m.; burial 2 p.m. at Homelani Memorial Park in Hilo. No flowers. Casual attire. Arrangements by Dodo Mortuary-Hilo.