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(Thurs., May 3, 2012)More than 1,500 Junior Police Officers (JPO) from public and private schools across Oahu converged at Kapiolani Park today for an end-of-the-year competition and picnic. The fifth and sixth graders represented nearly one-third of the approximately 4,600 elementary school children in the Honolulu Police Department’s (HPD) JPO program that teaches pedestrian safety, leadership, and civic responsibility.

For the entire school year, the JPOs have been helping their fellow students to arrive and depart safely from school. At the annual competition, they were judged on their drill skills and watched helicopter and canine demonstrations.

The following are some JPO facts:

HPD’s JPO program started in 1921.

Chief Louis Kealoha was a JPO.

One sergeant and six officers train more than 4,600 students and their advisors each year.

The JPO program is in approximately 120 Oahu schools.