Perry & Price
The term “posse” was associated with the lawmen who chased the gangs of the Old West, those bands of scoundrels who rode with Billy the Kid, Jesse James or Wild Bill Hickok. Flash forward to 1987, when two local KSSK radio deejays – Michael W. Perry and Larry Price – were able to put a local spin on the posse label, using radio airwaves as a platform to band our community together against crooks and criminals.
“What happened in the mid-’80s is the cell phone caught on and sort of reached a critical mass. We had a large audience, highest penetration of cell phones in the country, so by 1987 or so that was the critical mass that allowed the posse to exist,” says Perry about the formation of the KSSK Posse, which is comprised of listeners calling into the show as they view suspicious or criminal activity, such as car theft happening in their area.
“It is the eyes and ears of HPD,” adds Perry, “and that is always what it was about.”
Perry and Price are two personalities who differ in many ways, yet they’ve remained together for nearly 30 years and continue to host the top morning drive show in the state. In recognition of their commitment to the community and for helping to pioneer the posse, which enjoys weekly success in helping the Honolulu Police Department track down criminals, they are being honored May 18 by the Honolulu Police Community Foundation at its fifth annual gala at the Sheraton Waikiki Ballroom.
“Mike Perry and Larry Price have served this community in so many ways, it’s impossible to quantify their value to our islands,” says HPCF board president Lee Donohue. “Their posse has helped track down stolen automobiles, solve crimes, and bring a sense of safety and solidarity to our state. They demonstrate what service to the community looks like in all walks of their lives, and we couldn’t be prouder to have them as our 2012 honorees.”
They’ve heard it all – stories about stolen pets to West Point Academy graduation rings being returned, but one of the most unusual or, as Perry says, “stupidest” crimes they remember helping to unravel is when their own KSSK radio van was stolen from the studio parking lot just before their morning program began.
“The first thing we did was run upstairs to tell our audience. They started calling back and we tracked it. It was one of the stupidest things to do. Our faces are all over that van. They found it on Likelike Highway still running with the door open and the radio blaring our station,” says Perry, who adds that the original members from the first posse bust will be on hand at the gala.
“People just love getting involved. They love busting bad guys almost as much as HPD does.”
For ticket or sponsorship information, call 942-3873 or visit honolulupolicecommunityfoundation.org.