HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi is continuing his promise to beautify, revitalize and improve security in Chinatown. Despite some notable improvements with crime, increasing security in the area is still among his top priorities.
“More than anything on a very base level, we want people to feel safe in Chinatown, because clearly, they don’t,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.
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Chinatown leaders applaud the Mayor’s efforts so far, but crime is still a major concern.
“They come to Chinatown to hurt people, to harm, to steal and they assault people,” said Chu Lan Shubert-Kwock of the Chinatown Business and Community Association.
Since increasing patrols last year, the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) has seen a decline in burglaries by 23% and robberies are down 17%.
HPD cites stiffer penalties for repeat offenders as a successful change.
“So an HPD officer arrests someone for using crystal meth on the street. In the past, the offender was arrested, but was released pending investigation,” said Maj. Calvin Sung of HPD. “So he or she will be right back out on the street possibly committing other crimes, but now with this Weed N Seed program with the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, the offender will be charged with high bail and off the street until the next court hearing.”
Another concern from the community is fixing their added blanket of security. The city said there are 26 surveillance cameras and 20 of them are broken.
“There’s 26 cameras there right now and that’s not sufficient,” said Alex Kozlov, the director of the Department of Design and Construction. “We want to add more cameras. Possibly one on every intersection if we can, that’s the goal for that project.”
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“There’s so much to be done, but we’re committed to that,” said Mayor Blangiardi.