Lawmakers and police encourage people to be aware of surroundings in light of recent crimes

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File – The Honolulu Police Department arrested a 36-year-old suspect after he allegedly stabbed two people in Kapolei on Nov. 20.

HONOLULU (KHON2) — After a stabbing occurred near a strip mall in Kapolei on Fri. Nov. 21, many residents are now wondering if they are safe.

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“I was just shocked,” said Sen. Mike Gabbard, who represents the Kapolei and Makakilo area.

Gabbard said homelessness, drug dealing and fights are increasing issues in the area. Many constituents have called his office about incidents. Gabbard even faced an incident himself, when he found a stranger in his living room.

“I came out of my bedroom one morning and there was a strange woman sitting in my living room,” said Gabbard. “I said, ‘Who are you? What are you doing?’ She said ‘Just call the police,’ and so I did call the police. Then she went outside, and I gave her something to eat. Then she just took off before the police came back.”

Sen. Mike Gabbard, (D) Kapolei, Makakilo

“I think this is more of what’s to come in the future,” said Honolulu City Council Member Kymberly Pine. “There is a lot of people that are not well, right now, there’s a lot of people that have lost their jobs, maybe also lost their families as a result of the stress of that.”

Kapolei neighborhood board chair Jack Legal said safety in the Kapolei area will be something discussed in depth at the next neighborhood board meeting on Dec. 2.

One of the solutions he is considering suggesting is a neighborhood patrol for the holidays.

“With Kapolei growing and a lot of people going through here and coupled with all this,” said Legal. “What’s going on in our society today. It might it might help, depending on how you’re gonna carry it out. You know the patrol.”

Sgt. Chris Kim with Honolulu Crimestoppers said one step everyone can take to protect themselves is just to be aware of their surroundings.

“If you’re waiting in your car, or even if you’re outside of your car, you just always want to remain vigilant,” said Kim. “What I mean by that is to pay attention to surroundings. So, if you are in your car, just make it a habit of periodically looking up looking over your shoulder, looking left, looking right, looking ahead of you, looking behind you.”

He said another thing people can do is if they are in their car waiting, to lock the doors and keep the windows up. He said if people see something suspicious, they should honk their horn to draw lots of attention.

For those out by themselves, they should make sure to keep their valuables close to them and maybe even consider buying a personal alarm they can put on a lanyard or bag that they can use to alert people if they’re in trouble.

“With the pandemic that’s going on and with the Christmas shopping that’s going on, there’s all kinds of strange things happening,” said Gabbard. “Just be very safe when you’re out there.”

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