HONOLULU (KHON2) — There was a staggering 80% increase in homicides in west Oahu since 2022, according to a report by Honolulu police during a commission meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15.
West Oahu is not the only district that is experiencing an increase in murders.
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Honolulu Police Department deputy chief Keith Horikawa told the police commission that overall homicides on Oahu are down 14% but the west side has a different story.
“District 8, which is your, your west Oahu from Ewa Beach to Kaena Point, homicides are up 80% which is pretty much nine this year compared to five last year — and weapons offenses are up 42%,” Horikawa said.
Community leaders said the stats are gut-wrenching.
“80% is a painful increase. It’s hard to hear and it should be completely unacceptable in any area,” Nanakuli/Maili Neighborhood Board chair Samantha Decorte said. “I continue to advocate for police presence. I know we have a shortage, but with an 80% increase, we’re going to have to start pulling from other districts. We have to have more police presence at a minimum.”
It was also revealed during the commission meeting that homicides in East Oahu were up 50% compared to 2022.
“Just recently over the last few months, we’ve had a triple attempted murder at one home in Kalama Valley. There was a shooting down in Maunalua Bay, so this absolutely affects every single community from Maunalua up to Makaha,” said Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board member Sam Wolff.
Officials said they are making efforts. Surge enforcement in west Oahu resulted in over dozens of arrests and 800 citations over the weekend of Saturday, Nov. 11.
“Over 70 arrests over the Saturday Sunday, this past weekend to include felony drug arrests, OVUII’s or DUI’s, warrants and liquor offenses,” Horikawa said
Decorte pointed out that now is not the time to take the foot off the enforcement pedal, with District 8 being just one homicide away from a 100% increase.
“Nobody should be numb to a number like that. It should stop every single person in their tracks,” Decorte said. “We cannot just ramp up when things start to get intense. There has to be a consistent commitment to reduce the crime.”
HPD said the surge enforcement is meant to address different crime trends, KHON2 is waiting to hear back if the efforts are an ongoing, continued operation in west Oahu.