Community comes together to keep kids safe from stranger danger

News

After a string of stranger danger incidents in the Kapolei area, parents want answers on what can be done to protect their children.

On Thursday night, community members met with law enforcement agencies to talk about what’s going on.

Parents say it has been happening frequently in the Kapolei area. Just this past Tuesday, families at Kapolei Elementary received a letter about a stranger danger incident at Kamaaho Avenue.

“The amount of letters that we get home this past school year since August has been weekly. It’s been every week. I’ve seen incidents from the elementary school, middle and high school,” said parent Lani Carrillo.

One parent said she experienced what could be considered a stranger danger incident last weekend.

“There was a guy who appeared to be homeless, literally about two feet behind our son. It was not only too close for comfort, but the fact that when he saw that I was sitting in the van watching him, he made eye contact with me, went behind the pillar he was next to, and quickly walked away,” said Stephanie Rodrigues.

Rodrigues says she filed a police report, which officer Roland Pagan says is what parents should do when they hear or see an incident.

“If people who are trying to hurt these children are aware that everybody calls the police when things happen in this area, the hope is they’re not going to come back,” said Pagan, who is part of HPD District 8’s Community Policing Team.

Pagan says reports will also help investigators identify suspects.

“It helps us because if this person is seen in the another area doing the same thing to someone else, we can link the two cases. If it happens to one person and they give us a description and we just so happen to look through our cases and we find that there was another person that actually touched a child and the description matches, it could help us link the two,” Pagan said.

Police say it’s important for parents to talk to their kids and let them know that if something suspicious happens to let them know immediately, since many of these stranger danger incidents happen when no adults are around.

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