Trained police officers could protect the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.
That’s after a recent rash of burglaries at the school.
KHON2 learned the school is trying to beef up security to protect more than 300 acres of campus. They’d like to hire more security officers and train others to become police officers.
The numbers speak for themselves. There are more than 20,000 students and faculty at UH Manoa with 40 campus security officers monitoring them.
“We do realize that we do need more resource, so the chancellor is supporting police force on campus,” said. Capt. Alberta Pukahi with UH Campus Security.
The school is looking to hire 10 more campus security officers, and train 15 others to become campus police officers. Unlike campus security, the police officers would have the power to arrest people and possibly carry pepper spray and batons.
“Police do carry weapons but guns on campus is an issue,” Pukahi said.
This comes after two recent robberies at Moore Hall, where 20 offices were hit.
Although police released descriptions of persons of interest, no one has been arrested.
“I think it’s good for security but as of now, we’re getting our equipment robbed a lot,” said Jonathan Rawson, student.
Beefing up security could cost $3 million. The school is including it in its budget proposal for the 2014 school year.
“As far as turning them into campus police, I don’t think that’s a good way of spending money,” UH student Tahni Ramones said. “Because it’s not going to change anything, even with weapons, it’s not going to stop people from robbing classrooms.”
The university is also moving forward with a lighting project, replacing 10 emergency call boxes with ones that have cameras. That would be in addition to the campus security boost, which could see its staff increase by more than 50 percent.
“That would be awesome. That would be ideal,” Pukahi said.
No word on who would do the training for campus security to become police, or how long that training would last. But as an example, Honolulu Police recruits train at the Police Academy for an average of six months.