DLNR sets up 24-hour hot line
The toll-free number is to encourage reports of threats to natural and cultural resources
Hawaii residents have a new way to fight back against those who would drive cars on beaches, drink alcohol in state parks, or hunt or fish when and where they shouldn't.
They can dial 643-DLNR.
The toll-free number now links callers anywhere in the state to the Department of Land and Natural Resources' new enforcement hot line.
TO REPORT VIOLATIONS
The new Department of Land and Natural Resources hot line -- 643-DLNR (3567) -- can be called from regular and cell phones statewide and is a free call.
OTHER NOTABLE HOT LINES
Snake sightings: 643-PEST
Marine mammal concerns (whales, dolphins, etc.): (888) 256-9840
During weekdays, the call will automatically route to the DLNR enforcement office on the island from which an informant calls.
On nights, weekends and holidays, the number will go to a contracted answering service, whose operators will take down detailed information about the misdeeds described to them.
"We want people to call us about natural and cultural resource violations," DLNR Director Peter Young said yesterday in announcing the new 24-hour number.
People have complained to him that the DLNR's enforcement offices either don't answer after-hours or offer a recording.
"This is an initial step," Young said. "We have not added officers to implement this, but we feel it's important, to provide an opportunity to give a report directly to a person, rather than a recording."
Young said he believes more specific information will be given to the operators and this will help the department's 100 enforcement officers and 20 volunteers do their job better.
For now, the phone system will deliver complaints to a DLNR enforcement office the next business day, he said. But it has the potential to be relayed to officers in priority cases in the future, he said.
The phone service will cost the state "in the low hundreds of dollars" per month and will be "money well spent," Young said.
The system has been working for the past week and a half, Young said, and already he sees the potential of shifting officers hours to the times of day that problems are being reported.
"I'm excited about it," he said. "I feel it will help us as enforcement tool and as a management tool."
Young said he will likely seek funding from the Legislature for more enforcement officers next year, but wouldn't say how many. He also said the department might seek 24-hour coverage by officers.