Crime prevention in Kailua remains a community effort

Kailua Neighborhood

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Preventing crime is a joint effort. Many residents in Windward Oahu are taking action so they don’t become a target for thieves following a rash of crimes in that area this summer.

Eyes and ears could be the biggest weapons against crime.

“We have adequate staffing, but we cannot be on every street corner, 24 hours a day,” Honolulu Police Department Lt. Tas McKee said.

Lt. McKee says there are five police officers in the area per shift. He says manpower is not the issue, but it’s about sharing responsibilities with residents.

For example, at Tuesday night’s meeting, 40 people signed up for the Neighborhood Security Watch, which police say marks a huge interest.

“We look to the community to help us out, as far as providing us info that we can act on,” Lt. McKee said.

Police say a tight-knit community acts as a powerful tool in crime prevention. That’s what Cory Mehau also believes and why he helped create the Hono Kailua Facebook page, so residents can spread the word about suspicious activity.

“Now there isn’t a down time, there isn’t a lag time as much in knowing what’s happening next door, down the street. People are willing to share it so everybody are more aware,” Mehau said.

Ever since the crime wave hit Windward Oahu this summer, many residents have been on edge, keeping alarm companies busy.

“The last month, there’s been approximately 25 percent increase in people contacting us,” said Mary Paulson with Security One.

“We’re seeing about a 15 percent to 20 percent increase,” said Roger Savage with Alert Alarm Hawaii.

Representatives from alarm companies say an alarm system would help to protect a home, but they also believe there’s so much more people can do on their own.

“It’s the foliage around your house. You want to make sure you keep it trimmed and clean so that people can actually see what’s going on around your home,” Savage said.

“When you go home and you walk into your house, be aware of what’s going on around you. Someone may be following you,” Paulson said.

They also say you shouldn’t discuss upcoming vacations with anyone. Remove valuables from the master bedroom since many thieves target that part of the house. And remove ladders, tools and gardening equipment from the outside of your home, so you don’t make it easier for criminals to rip you off.

Get to know your neighbors. The person next door could be a criminal or a helpful and watchful eye.

Related story: Frustrated residents seek answers to stop crime in their area

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