Stranded motorist has high praise for Maui police

As a darker skinned American, having lived in a few Mainland cities, I am very aware and sensitive to my relationship with the police. I was subjected to the practice of driving while black long before the controversy of “stop and frisk” was known to the public. So, my run-in with the Maui Police Department was a shocker.

I had the unfortunate experience of running out of gas on Honoapiilani Highway. The shoulder of the road was too narrow to get completely out of the lane of fast-moving traffic. I called 911, concerned that this was a dangerous situation. Within minutes, police officer Ryan Devooght was there with flashing lights to safeguard me, my car and the traffic. Minutes later, Sgt. Mario Bonilla and officer Chase Keli’ipa’akaua arrived and assessed the situation. They pushed my heavy car uphill to a gas station.

The policemen could have had me call a tow truck or had me run for gas. This would have indeed been the case in many other places.

In my 13 years on Maui, my few experiences with the police have been nothing but good. This is not a letter I would normally write, but one that I gladly write. From one who has not been very sympathetic to the police, my hat is off to these officers and the MPD. Their exemplary service with aloha should be the model for the rest of the country and gives more meaning to “protect and serve.”

Lawrence Taylor