East Hawaii News

Toledo Honored as November 2021 Officer of The Month

February 10, 2022, 7:30 AM HST
* Updated February 10, 5:37 AM
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A Hawai‘i Police Department officer who helped ease traffic congestion at two Hilo schools was recently honored for his efforts by the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai’i.

Officer Murray Toledo, a school resource officer at Waiākea Intermediate School, was named the club’s Officer of the Month for November 2021 for proactively addressed the long-standing traffic congestion problem. The 15-year-veteran of the department received the award during a ceremony Jan. 26 at the Hilo police station.

According to a press release from the police department, Toledo has first-hand knowledge of the traffic congestion that has plagued the campus for more than a decade. He took charge, conducting traffic direction during the school’s drop-off and pick-up times, often taking the brunt of the drivers’ frustrations, enduring their yells and criticisms.

Recognizing that while his efforts were helping, a permanent solution was needed, so Toledo set about developing a short- and long-term plan to address the congestion. He quickly got all the stakeholders together to discuss the problem, develop a plan and facilitate its implementation.

“Through his perseverance, he overcame numerous unforeseen obstacles among the stakeholders,” the police press release says. “He worked hard to negotiate an amicable solution everyone could live with, creating a sense of cooperation between all entities.”

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Additionally, in order to ensure the completion of the project, he volunteered his own time to stripe and assist in paving.

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Toledo’s hard work and his ability to bring people together to focus on a common goal resulted in the creation of new larger and improved parking areas, plus upgraded drop-off and pick-up lanes for two schools, which has tremendously reduced traffic congestion and driver complaints. In all, the project only took three months.

In addition to his work on the school traffic issues, the club also lauded Toledo for his sincere concern for youth.

Every month, the Aloha Exchange Club honors an East Hawai‘i police officer as its officer of the month. Officers are nominated by their supervisors from the police districts in Area I, including Hāmākua, North Hilo, South Hilo and Puna, and a winner is selected.

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All officers chosen as Officer of the Month are eligible to be selected as the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai‘i Officer of the Year.

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