HONOLULU (KHON2) — The state said tension during the COVID pandemic caused some state facilities to be targets of crime.
“Fires set to doors, windows being broken into and there was a tough time, a lot of frustration in the community and so we did our best,” said Curt Otaguro, state comptroller and director of the Department of Accounting and General Services.
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The state is installing high-quality security cameras for “at-risk” facilities.
“You could detect motion at a certain time or an area that there shouldn’t be anybody,” Otaguro said. “That would sound alert to the dispatch area and then from there, the dispatch could call up the system through an online video real-time.”
It’s not just facilities themselves, but state parking garages as well. The state told KHON2 there have been cases of employees working late at night and being followed or even assaulted while walking to their car.
“The thoroughfare between a state-building and the parking garage also needs to be monitored,” Otaguro said. “That’s where we started to look at different locations within the Capitol district to see what we could do to improve or leverage technology.”
This is all part of an ongoing project that started pre-pandemic. The state upgraded the cameras at the Capitol, which were outdated for many years.
“It’s not just to ensure my safety, but to ensure the public safety as well whether they’re going to visit the State Art Museum or to voice their concerns at the state capitol,” said Rep. Adrian Tam, (D) Waikiki, Ala Moana. “We want to make sure that everyone can do so in a very safe manner and knowing that they will be safe.”
In the future, the state is looking to implement fingerprint access at the Capitol and utilize technology to build a centralized monitoring system.
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“So we have plans to increase our eyeballs on watching more monitors, but then we can really look at any building and any place,” said Otaguro.