Residents in Kailua are coming together to take a stand against crime.
This comes after a string of robberies and other crimes have hit the area in recent months.
We’re told a new group called Citizens for a Safer Windward has been formed and earlier this week, dozens participated in a “crime walk” around town.
Sen. Laura Thielen told KHON2 about 80 people showed up for the first Kailua crime walk on Monday.
The walk was meant to show a neighborhood watch-like presence in the community.
“It’s kind of how you have a police officer that will walk around and walk a beat. Instead this is where the community is out walking and saying we’re out here to help our community, talk with folks and show that we care,” Sen. Thielen said.
We’re told the walk was organized by residents concerned about crimes happening in the area.
“Kailua has changed a lot recently and there’s just an awful lot more traffic and people and activity going on in the town so some of the community members felt it would be helpful to have a presence,” Sen. Thielen said.
Back in July, the Kalapawai Market was robbed at gunpoint while employees were closing up. In June, a pair of liquor stores in Kailua and Kaneohe were also targeted about a half-hour apart. No suspects have been arrested in any of these cases.
“It’s in the commercial areas and public spaces, not so much in the neighborhood and that’s why the group wanted to work with the community policing team,” Sen. Thielen said.
We’re told the HPD community policing team met with residents to train them on what to look for and what to do.
“The idea is to be vigilant but not vigilantes so in the training they were telling people, you know, if you’re involved in a community watch, you’re not to approach people, you’re not to take action,” Sen. Thielen said.
Sen. Thielen said residents are working closely with police to be the eyes and ears of the community when officers aren’t around.
“Presence is always good because it shows that members of the community care about what’s going on,” she said.
The walks around the community will be held at least once a month.