If you see something, say something.
That’s the reminder from Honolulu’s acting police chief Cary Okimoto following Monday’s deadly terror attack in England.
Twenty-two people, including an 8-year-old girl, died when a suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device just outside Manchester Arena. Pop singer Ariana Grande had wrapped a show on her Dangerous Woman tour just minutes prior, and the venue was filled with concert goers.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, though a top American intelligence official said the claim could not be verified.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says the country’s terror threat level was raised to critical, which means another attack may be imminent. Armed soldiers could be deployed instead of police at public events, including concerts and sports matches.
While Okimoto says there are no credible threats in Honolulu, he wants everyone to stay alert.
“The Honolulu Police Department is no stranger to large events, such as the Honolulu Marathon, APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), so we continue to work and have a great working relationship with our federal and state partners,” Okimoto said. “We have about eight events coming up in the next two weeks.
“If you intend to attend these events, please be vigilant and help us, because we cannot do it alone,” he added. “Call 911 if they see something suspicious. Just let us know right away. Don’t call an hour from the time it occurred.”
We asked the city about security at concerts here in Honolulu. Guy Kaulukukui, director of Enterprise Services, said:
“For all events at the Arena, Concert Hall and Waikiki Shell, the Blaisdell Center staff creates a specific security plan for the venue and the particular event. Staff works in conjunction with the promoter and artist to implement the plan for the safety of guests and performers. The promoter is required to hire private licensed security, special duty police officers and ushers to fulfill the plan. Event staff are trained in crowd management and emergency procedures and work with public safety personnel to ensure overall security of the venues.”
Concert promoter Rick Bartalini said in a statement: “We take the safety of all of our guests seriously and continue to review security measures with artists and venues. This tragedy reminds us that we all need to be extra vigilant in all areas to maintain a safe environment to enjoy music and entertainment.”
Meanwhile, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has ordered the colors of the United Kingdom — red, white, and blue — to shine on Honolulu Hale through the evening of Saturday, May 27, to express solidarity with the victims of the bombing.
“Honolulu condemns this attack and sends our aloha to the people of Manchester and the United Kingdom during this time of mourning,” he said.