HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii Senate Minority Leader Kurt Fevella recently sent a letter to Governor David Ige requesting the presence of law enforcement officers at schools during the 2022-2023 school year.

Fevella, who represents District 19, asked that Hawaii’s Department of Education and Department of Public Safety (PSD) develop a plan to assign law enforcement officers to serve alongside existing security personnel at DOE schools.

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The PSD said in a statement “it’s working with the DOE to develop a strategy that will help ensure the safety of our students and educators.”

Governor Ige also issued a statement that said:

The DOE started vulnerability assessments a few years ago, and recommendations are being implemented as they are made. Our priority is always the safety and well-being of our students, educators and staff, and the PSD Sheriff Division will work with the DOE to ensure that safety.

The Senate Minority Leader noted that during this year’s legislative session the DOE submitted testimony explaining that there is no security staff assigned to any of the DOE’s elementary schools or pre-kindergarten programs.

Fevella said he’s been told by principals and school staff in his district that they don’t feel properly trained to handle a lockdown scenario.

“If we can get some security training maybe or even law enforcement — basically law enforcement to be on campus because they’re trained to observe and identify and react and protect,” said Fevella.

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Fevella further requested in his letter that Ige give his endorsement and directive for the DOE to work with law enforcement to spend parts of their workday at each state prekindergarten program. He also asked that they be present at DOE elementary, middle, intermediate and high school while students are on campus grounds.