Junior police officers receive honor

Fifth-graders from four Maui elementary schools were honored as Junior Police Officer of the Year for their schools at a recent JPO picnic at the Wailuku Community Center.

The students receiving the awards were Louise Dantes of Lihikai Elementary, Alexis Nelson of Pukalani Elementary, Owen Nakamura of Waihee School and Creighton Purdy of Kula Elementary.

School JPO advisers commended the students for their leadership, hard work and reliability.

Maui police traffic officer Gregg Rowe said the students go to school early and stay after school to help teachers, parents and fellow students cross safely on school property.

Some even open doors to help younger children get out of cars, he said.

“They do a lot,” said Rowe, who coordinates the program for the Maui Police Department.

About 150 5th-graders countywide participate in the JPO program. In addition to the four Maui schools, Kualapuu Elementary on Molokai recently started a JPO program, Rowe said.