HONOLULU (KHON2) — The $16 million Waianae Police Station has sat partially empty for years. Now, the Honolulu Police Department is taking steps to get the building fully operational.
In 2016, Waianae welcomed a new $16 million police station, but according to the Honolulu Police Department it hasn’t been able to fully utilize the building.
“Still only one officer there, nothing furnished on the top floor,” said Andria Tupola, a Honolulu City Councilmember.
The unfinished second floor is forcing detectives and officers to go back and forth between Kapolei and Waianae stations, according to HPD. Now, Honolulu police Chief Joe Logan is requesting $300,000 to complete Waianae Police Substation improvements. The City tells KHON2, that the funding has already been approved. The City budget includes nearly $2 million for Waianae Station projects in total.
“A lot of the officers park in different areas in the community and do work, but aside from beat officers, we have detectives, we have narco, we have vice, we have traffic division. So we have a lot of different divisions within HPD. So I think utilizing the station more, I think will bring a lot more presence to the area.”Andria Tupola, Honolulu City Councilmember
HPD said, once the second floor is done, it’ll allow officers to work full-time in the Waianae station. Police added, the second floor will include a work space for the community policing team and crime reduction unit.
With multiple high profile shootings this year along the Leeward coast, community members said this project is needed now more than ever.
“The people are coming to the table and are asking for help, they’re crying for help right now,” said Jonathan Hoomanawanui, Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board Chair.
The latest incident of gun violence involves a shooting at the Waianae Boat Harbor leaving two men dead. Javen Lopez is being held on $2 million bail following his initial court appearance Thursday. Lopez is facing first and second degree murder charges and firearms offenses.
Residents hope, increasing the use of the Waianae Police Station will be some sort of deterrent.
“However we can fill that office, because I know that shortages are a big issue at hand, but atleast we’re moving forward to getting this building operational again,” said Hoomanawanui.
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KHON2 asked HPD when the improvements will start and are waiting for a response.