A neighborhood watch group in Kapolei is encouraging other communities to come together to fight crime.
The Kanehili neighborhood safety watch group has been patrolling their community for several years. But the residents are pushing for more people to follow their lead after seeing the recent story of a young girl being inappropriately touched by a man on TheBus last month.
We’re told that bus incident along with other crimes are just a couple of reasons why these residents want more eyes and ears around the community.
Whether its in the morning or in the middle of the night, the Kanehili neighborhood safety watch is on a mission to keep crime away.
“Sometimes we go out at midnight and we go out and cruise around and see if anything’s happening,” group member Ruth Kepo’o said.
“Things happen 24/7 right. It happens at different times, you never know,” another member, Claudia Quintanilla said.
Each week these residents hitch a ride on the bus and make multiple stops to walk around Kapolei.
“Tonight’s walk was pretty quiet, we’re looking not to engage anybody but to show a presence to deter criminal behavior, member Todd Lavine said.
“Basically we just want to be visible in the community. We want people to know that other people out there are watching,” Kepo’o said.
An HPD officer joins the group once a month and we’re told their presence is working.
“A lot of times people will just go home and not do things they shouldn’t do when they see us,” Kepo’o said. “If it’s a group of people and things don’t look good, then we’ll call 911.”
Residents also focus on area schools. We’re told volunteers are often nearby during the morning rush.
“We’re just there to make sure that the kids get to school and to make sure that they don’t interrupt the community,” Quintanilla said. “If we see students smoking or doing things that they shouldn’t be doing, we will make reports.”
The group hopes others will join in their efforts to keep Hawaii safe.
“Just doing other simple things like this, it makes other neighbors feel good about their community, feel safer about their community,” Quintanilla said.
All of these residents are trained by Honolulu Police before patrolling the community.
If you’re interested in starting a neighborhood watch group, you can contact HPD.