Nearly one year after a crime wave began, some Windward Oahu residents say they still don’t feel safe, even after criminal justice leaders gathered at a community meeting to provide solutions Thursday night.
Korina Randall, who works at Madre Chocolate, is careful about where she walks at night. When her shift is done, she walks several blocks to catch the bus home and says she would feel safer if there were more lighting and police officers patrolling the area. “I see them going up and down, but never on the side streets at all,” Randall said.
Other residents who attended Thursday night’s crime forum also said they would also like to see more police presence.
KHON2 asked Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha what he would say to residents who might think there aren’t enough officers on the street. “What I would say is that crime prevention is everybody’s job,” he answered.
Some residents say they’re doing that job. Membership for the neighborhood watch jumped 17 percent last year when property crimes and burglaries started to increase.
Honolulu police also says it has more boots on the ground now in Windward Oahu than in recent years — a total of 190 offers for the district.
HPD says hiring more officers would allow them to better service the neighborhoods since officers respond to every 911 call that requests them, but it would require approval from the Honolulu City Council.
“That’s definitely something that I am willing to consider looking at,” said Honolulu City Council member Ikaika Anderson, who represents Windward Oahu. He says he is trying to help fight crime in the neighborhood.
“My office is working to secure funding for increased lighting as well as security cameras in our district,” he said.
This district is the largest for Honolulu police and includes Kaneohe, Kailua, Waimanalo and Kahuku.