HONOLULU (KHON2) – Residents in a Kaneohe neighborhood have come together to look out for each other for the past 30 years. The Kaneohe Neighborhood Watch says its helped deter crime especially with many children and kupuna in the area.
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Bob Smith has been the coordinator of the group for the last three decades. He also uses his Taekwondo facility as a way to educate his members.
“The past couple of years as crimes have been going up, we’ve been giving free community seminars for self awareness, self defense, and pepper spray seminars,” said Bob Smith, the coordinator of the Kaneohe Neighborhood Watch.
There’s a dozen members in the group and even more followers online.
“If I see something that needs to be reported with HPD, then we don’t hesitate to send them a text message. If there’s something that we feel that is pertinent, than we’ll send it in. Otherwise, we’ll just post it and kind of bring it to everybody’s attention,” Smith said.
Stolen Stuff Hawaii also gives the community a platform to watch out for one another.
“They stay alert, they keep their eyes open and when they see something, they post it online now,” said Michael Kitchens, creator of Stolen Stuff Hawaii. “They just want crime to be lessened and for everybody to be able to walk on the street safely.”
The Honolulu Police Department says these community groups can make all the difference.
“There’s strength in numbers. It doesn’t matter how big you are or how tough you are. There’s strength in numbers, as long as everybody’s willing to step in and say something,” Smith said.
HPD also organizes neighborhood security watches. Each group is made up of volunteers, coordinators and block captains that relay information to district officers.
HPD says the key to a successful program is active participation. The Kaneohe Neighborhood Watch echoes that message.
“We all have people that live a house or two houses down and maybe we see them on social media or we throw them a shaka as we drive by. However, we’re not really stopping and talking anymore. Communicate and take the time to just say, ‘hey, how are you doing? What’s going on? Is there anything that I can do to help you,” said Smith.
To start a neighborhood security watch with HPD, call the police district in the area. Then, an officer will host a neighborhood watch presentation. HPD says, 25 attendees is preferred.
To learn more about how to start a neighborhood security watch with HPD, click here.