HONOLULU (KHON2) — In 2016, the City spent $16 million to build the Waianae Police Station. A blessing was held, but the doors never fully opened. West Oahu residents are concerned that the building continues to sit partially empty seven years later.
“This is 2023, and it’s not open,” said Patty Kahanamoku-Teruya, Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board Chair. “I wonder if the City or the Council is using this as a museum rather than a police station.”
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According to the Honolulu Police Department, there’s one officer per shift stationed at the building to handle walk-ins. It adds, officers on the road use the station to do reports. However, the facility can only handle processing juvenile arrests due to lack of equipment.
HPD said the top floor of the facility is also unfinished, and Honolulu City Councilmember Andria Tupola got to see it for herself.
“The upstairs is empty, and there’s been no furnishing, not the floors, not the ceilings, no desks, no cubicles, no internet and no phone lines,” said Andria Tupola, Honolulu City Councilmember.
HPD estimates about $6 million is needed to complete the second floor.
“The detectives, misdemeanor details, we actually have other detectives like Narco, CID that would sit in that area that we have on the second deck; but it’s unfinished,” said Maj. Gail Beckley, Honolulu Police Department.
Councilmember Tupola introduced a resolution, urging HPD to fully utilize the Waianae Police Station and make a plan to create a Waianae police district. Tupola said, the original permits for the project were pulled with the intent to create police District 9.
Currently, there are eight police districts across Oahu, with District 8 stretching from Ewa to Ka’ena Point.
Tupola added that in the last fiscal cycle, HPD returned $18 million to the City Council.
“It could’ve been utilized to help furnish this station and try to get this up and going,” said Tupola.
Tupola sat down with HPD administration, and they say they’re willing to put a detective at the Waianae facility.
“Small steps will lead us there; but if we continue to take no steps, we continue to have a vacant building that was built by taxpayer dollars to remain vacant for more than seven years,” Tupla said.
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HPD hopes to start processing adult arrests at the Waianae Police Station later this year.