As various park security programs are extended and expanded throughout the island, signs of their success indicate a positive outcome for the city’s common areas.
In Fiscal Year 2018 (July 2017 to June 2018) the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) spent nearly $234,000 through its park maintenance crews to address damage caused by vandalism.
In Fiscal Year 2019 (July 2018 to June 2019) the amount spent was nearly $223,000, representing a five percent decrease. This also represents the first drop in vandalism-related costs from fiscal year to fiscal year since DPR began tracking this statistic in 2014.
These figures represent the costs incurred through DPR operational funds, and do not include large Capital Improvement Projects which are required in cases of extreme damage from vandalism. For example, the two arson cases at Kai‘aka Bay Beach Park and Ke‘ehi Lagoon. Both of these criminal acts cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars to replace the torched facilities.
“From the very beginning our parks have been a priority for this administration, and while the ultimate solution is to foster greater respect for our public areas, these security programs at select parks are working,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Whether it’s park rangers, security cameras, locking our parks or having private security guards conduct patrols, these new tools have shown positive results and I’m happy our program is expanding with partnership and support from the City Council and from the state through the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.”
The park security programs include the following initiatives:
- Securing parks
- Active park patrols
- Surveillance camera monitoring
- Park rangers