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News Release

Thursday, July 28, 2011

PROJECT tHInk YOUTH JOIN WITH HPD FOR COMMUNITY SAFETY AWARENESS EVENT

Honolulu Police Department officers not only allowed, but encouraged, youth to hang out at street corners in the Liliha area during the early morning hours today.

More than 50 youth from Project tHInk and their mentors joined HPD officers and Farmers Insurance Hawaii employees on Liliha Street near Mayor Wright Housing and Kukui Gardens, to remind drivers to watch out for pedestrians crossing streets in this busy mid-block crosswalk area. The event was part of the Farmers Hawaii Hot Spots traffic safety program.

Project tHInk is an HPD initiative to redirect the path of juveniles who are or will be at risk of being involved with delinquency. HPD Community Policing District 1 officers work with 40 youth per year with ages ranging from 12-18. Activities include monthly community service projects; business, vocational and character building activities; youth citizen patrol formal training; and leadership training.

HPD Officer Taylor Hoopii, who heads the District 1 program, said that activities like Farmers Hawaii Hot Spots are opportunities for youth to positively impact their communities.

"Many of the youth who participate in Project tHInk live in the area and use the crosswalk daily to get to the bus stop to go to school," Hoopii said. "By taking an active role in reminding drivers to pay attention and obey posted speed limits and pedestrian crossing laws, Project tHInk students are setting a great example of making a difference and helping others."

Michele Saito, President of Farmers Insurance Hawaii, added that the efforts of Project tHInk youth send a strong message to others that driving distractions are a serious problem on our neighborhood streets and highways.

"The participation of the youth today sends a strong message that safety is everyone's concern," Saito said. "The enthusiasm of the students is contagious, and Farmers Hawaii is pleased to join with Project tHInk and HPD to help make our streets safer."

The Farmers Hawaii Hot Spots program identifies dangerous traffic areas statewide and in school zones and rallies local communities to urge drivers to obey traffic laws and watch out for pedestrians.

The program was started in 2002 in response to increased accidents and fatalities due to speeding. Schools or concerned community members interested in holding a Hot Spots event in their neighborhood should contact Farmers Insurance Hawaii at 808-544-3988.

Farmers Insurance Hawaii Family of Companies is a member company of Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, the third largest personal lines insurance provider in the country. Farmers Insurance Hawaii planted its roots in Hawaii in 1955 when Hawaii Insurance Consultants was founded to provide affordable insurance for Hawaii’s union and plantation workers. Today, the Farmers Insurance Hawaii Family of Companies is a full-service insurance company, offering commercial and personal lines of insurance, and includes Farmers Insurance Hawaii, Hawaii Insurance Consultants, American Pacific Insurance Company, Human Resources Solutions, and 50th State Risk Management Services. The company has 270 employees statewide and offices on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai.

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