HONOLULU (KHON2) — Officials are calling for more law enforcement presence on the west side of Oahu amid growing concerns over crime. This comes as the community is gathering for another rally against violence Friday.
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State and City officials held a meeting at the Waianae Police Station on Oct. 30 to discuss addressing crime on the Leeward coast. Following the meeting, Honolulu City Councilmember Andria Tupola, submitted a letter to Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan.
Tupola said in the letter, “I’m grateful you were there to answer questions, but I felt there was a lack of urgency and no clear plan for increasing police presence in the high-crime areas of Waianae.” She added, “I am writing to urgency request action from HPD whether through checkpoints, spot enforcements at parks, or overtimes officers over the next month.”
“They did say that they’re going to be talking internally and doing something, but again, nothing that will be released to the public, because we need this enforcement to happen while people who don’t need to know about it aren’t informed of it,” said Andria Tupola, Honolulu City Councilmember.
“I think Councilmember Tupola is right in her frustration,” said Rep. Darius Kila (D) Honokai Hale, Nanakuli, Maili. “We are asking for help. It’s an emergency crisis the amount of reckless crime from unlawful folks who live in our community.”
According to HPD’s data dashboard, murder and non-negligent manslaughter is up in District 8, which stretches from Ewa to Makaha, from six in all of 2022 to nine this year so far. Residents agree, more police presence is needed.
“We’re going to have to make some adjustments in how can we get more police presence,” said Samantha DeCorte, Nanakuli Maili Neighborhood Board Chair. “You’d be surprised in how effective just having a blue light run through our district can really prevent a lot of criminal activity.”
Tupola is also asking HPD to provide westside residents regular updates on major crimes, especially involving guns. HPD is expected to provide a progress report at a town hall in December.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are looking at new legislation that can help deter crime.
“I’m looking at the increasing of minimum fines and sentences for folks that are in possession of illegal firearms,” Kila said.
“We need to be able to stand up against evil and brutality. We need to call it out. We need to name it and we need to stay away from it,” Tupola said.
KHON2 reached out to HPD for comment and is waiting to hear back.