HONOLULU, 5:57 p.m. HST May 23, 2001 -- Honolulu police officers have been
put on alert about a Los Angeles street gang with links to Hawaii that is
offering money for killing or hurting officers. Local authorities believe
that the violent group, known as the 18th Street Gang, has a handful of
members in Hawaii. Los Angeles police said that it has information that the
gang has offered $10,000 to anyone who injures a police officer and $25,000
to anyone who kills one. The gang has more than 30,000 members in California.
But local law enforcement officials told KITV4 News that Hawaii does not have the magnitude of gangs that California has. The organization "Adult Friends for Youth" is reaching out to local gang members to keep them away from violence. "We work with a lot of the gangs on their own turf, so for us to walk in and say 'You need to do this, you need to do that,' they'll laugh us right off their turf," counselor Debbie Spencer said. "So what we do is build a lot of rapport, a lot of respect with each other, trust, and help redirect them in achieving their goals." Adult Friends for Youth says that it is not aware of the 18th Street Gang's presence in Hawaii.