On Friday, Honolulu officials deployed the use of drones at three popular beach areas; Lanikai and Kailua, Waikiki beaches, and Sandy Beach Park.

The drones assist Honolulu police by playing a brief announcement that reminds beachgoers of the stay at home order.  

Although many beachgoers didn’t see the drones flying over the water on Saturday, police saw the people who were sitting on the beach.

It was just two weeks ago that Lanikai and Sandy Beach Park were packed with people enjoying the sun, but on Saturday both beaches were virtually empty on land.

Most people now understand the new rule; you can swim or conduct ocean activities in the water, but sitting on the beach is prohibited.

Lanikai residents say they’ve seen a huge difference in the amount of people coming to the beach.

“Once they began patrolling and cracking down it got a lot like this where people were mostly coming here to exercise on the beach and I’d say, for the most part, it was pretty under control even before the parking ban with the patrols,” said Lanikai resident Dr. Lisa Marten.

The parking ban was issued by Honolulu police so officers could be utilized at other locations.

One man sat down briefly at Lanikai and was met by two HPD offices on ATVs shortly after.

Over in Waikiki, a woman was walking her French bulldog when she said her dog started to get overheated so she took a quick break and sat down on a wall near the Duke Kahanamoku statue.

“Six officers came over to me and issued a citation for violating the beach closures,” said one female Honolulu resident. “I repeatedly said I was unaware that the rock wall was considered part of the beach. I was not issued a warning of any sort.”

“I willingly and truthfully told the officers that I did not know the place where I was sitting was considered a beach or a park. Where it is just a little strip of grass and palm trees,” she explained.

“Honestly, I was out getting exercise, and just taking a rest. I was not trying to be disrespectful, and just leisure around, and lay on the beach, that was not my purpose. My purpose was to give my dog a break and to make sure my boyfriend’s things didn’t get stolen off the beach,” she said.

“They are definitely not messing around. and they are taking this very seriously. I just wish there was a clearer message to say you can’t even be on the grass near the sidewalk, because to me that is not a park. To me we are just taking a rest with my dog. I did not know that was against the rules. So, I genuinely feel that I was not given a fair opportunity to explain my situation correctly.”

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said police aren’t warning people any more.

“They’re citing so they figure there’s been a lot of education on this, and the drones are also telling you. So now, if you’re still there after the drones and the Honolulu fire and Honolulu police department shows up, you could get a stern warning and a citation if you don’t act appropriately,” he explained.