HONOLULU (KHON2) — A look at one of the ways the Honolulu Police Department is addressing community concerns through the Citizens Patrols. Waikiki residents said that they do make a difference.
Four times a week, the Waikiki community policing team meets with residents for Citizens Patrol.
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Officer Ryan Yamamoto, HPD Community Policing Team Waikiki District, said it’s a great way to get to know the officers and a great way for the community to kind of take charge of the area.
According to Yamamoto, the citizens patrols are really about engagement and explained they’re different than Neighborhood Security Watches.
“So, Neighborhood Security Watch, a lot of people think that’s a big thing, There’s a block captain. There’s a whole structure involved. People got to report to duties, extra responsibilities,” Yamamoto explained.
He said this is much more casual. Residents can come out, ask questions and share their concerns.
Daphne Rice has been coming to the weekly citizens patrols for years and thinks they do help deter crime.
“I think having a police presence really does,” she explained. “And, police out walking is a much more engageable situation than just when you see them driving by in their cars.”
“We all are a team here,” said Waikiki resident John Deutzman.
Deutzman said he too has been a part of the patrols for years.
“We have a lot of communication about who the bad guys are, where the trouble spots are; and that’s the part that works,” said Deutzman.
According to Yamamoto, they’re the eyes and ears on the ground, which is a valuable resource.
“That’s information that we don’t typically have on a day to day basis, especially for stuff that people may not feel warrants a 911 call,” he added.
On this day, there’s a commotion across the street; and the officers go over to assist.
According to the police officers, the person was arrested for warrants and is a repeat offender in the area.
“The problem here is that we are swarming with troublemakers, and there are little consequences. They just keep on coming back and coming back and coming back,” Deutzman said.
He said that’s why he works with the police, to try to stop re-offenders from destroying the community.
This is just one of four citizens patrols hosted in Waikiki by the CPT every week, and there are others around Oahu.
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“We have them all over the place,” Yamamoto said. “Downtown, Ewa Beach, Waianae area. There are citizens patrols all over the island,” added Deutzman.