WAIKIKI, Hawaii (KHON2) — Retailers voiced their concerns about the impact that crime has on their safety and revenue and heard from Honolulu’s chief of police on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan said keeping the community safe goes beyond enforcing the law.
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“It’s not Joe Logan’s police department, it’s our police department. It’s the Honolulu Police Commission, it’s all of you as community and business leaders,” Logan said. “So, how do you connect with the Honolulu Police Department?”
Logan pointed to HPD’s community policing teams — especially with the issue of homelessness. Every district on Oahu has a number to call.
“They reach out to all of you if you call the number at the district office, the community police will come down to talk to you about crime in the area, about ways for your business to help with criminal activity and then about the homeless situations that are going on,” Logan said.
One business owner with concerns was Dirk Koeppenkastrop of Il Gelato Hawaii. He told KHON2 that his Iwilei Business Center location has dealt with the issue for years.
“Particularly after COVID, we see an increase in population of the homeless, and we see definitely also an increase on crime. We have trespassing, harassment, we have theft, we have all kinds of damages to the property.”Dirk Koeppenkastrop, Il Gelato Hawaii owner
Koeppenkastrop knows the burden does not completely fall on police, but he still hopes for stronger enforcement.
“I think Chief Logan has a pretty tough job ahead of him, and I know it’s a, it’s a political problem, which needs to be addressed by the State and by the City and County and I think people are trying really hard to make a difference,” Koeppenkastrop said.
Logan pointed out that homelessness is not illegal and mass arrests simply are not on the table.
“We can not arrest our way out of a conflict,” Logan said. “The whole of society, the City and County of Honolulu, the State of Hawaii, how do we come to this and find solutions? Because it’s all of our problems. It’s not just police department, it’s not your problem, it’s all of our problems.”
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Other notable topics included officer shortages and mental health in the police force. The next luncheon with the Hawaii Society of Business Professionals is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 19.