HPD still giving out hundreds of citations for COVID-19 violations as new rules take effect


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced new restrictions Tuesday, which includes a limit of five for outdoor and indoor social gatherings. The City and County of Honolulu said strict enforcement of the rules will continue as hundreds of citations continue to be given out to rule breakers.

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“We [talk with HPD] Chief Ballard about the orders that we’re implementing,” said Caldwell. “And the burdens that we’re placing on her law enforcement officers. She stepped up 100% along with her officers to enforce these orders, and they will continue to do so.”

It has been about two weeks since the Honolulu Police Department launched its COVID-19 hotline, and HPD said they are getting an average of 140 to 150 calls daily of COVID-19 order violations.

“There’s all kinds of calls for COVID,” said Malcolm Lutu, SHOPO president. “Not only the beach. I mean the park closures, the gatherings and stuff like that. We’ve been getting calls regarding COVID quarantine violations too.”

Lutu is part of the Waikiki district COVID-19 enforcement. He said there are eight districts for COVID-19 enforcement with 15 to 20 officers.

In the Waikiki district alone, Lutu said they have been averaging 200 citations a day.

“The warning period is over, especially with the numbers going up daily or staying at a high level with three digits,” said Lutu.

HPD has not been untouched by the COVID-19 virus. As of Monday, HPD said it had 40 officers quarantining at home.

However, Lutu said it hasn’t had a major impact on the force or on the COVID-19 enforcement team.

“I think everybody’s willing to do their part,” said Lutu. “Everybody’s coming in if they get the opportunity to get asked to work. Everybody wants to bring down the numbers.”

Mayor Caldwell is asking people to do their part as well.

“We need to take some of that burden on them and actually comply with the orders,” said Caldwell. “Wearing face coverings, not gathering in groups more than five make their jobs easier.”

HPD said COVID enforcement teams will continue to work as scheduled.

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