New police station focuses on East Oahu crimes
Police presence on the east side of Oahu just got stronger, as the Honolulu Police Department unveiled its burglary and theft detail station on the slopes of Diamond Head yesterday.
This is the first time District 7 officers have a permanent home in the area they oversee. District 7 covers East Honolulu, from Punahou to Makapuu, but their main base of operations was at the central headquarters on Beretania Street.
The new office merges Waikiki burglary and theft investigators with East Honolulu's Crime Reduction Unit. The $1.4 million project houses about 30 employees.
Police Deputy Chief Paul Putzulu said yesterday's unveiling is the first step in establishing a home for District 7 officers in East Honolulu. The office is on land donated by the state National Guard, next to the armory.
District commanders can oversee patrol operations from the station and turn it into a makeshift emergency command center.
The area has seen 249 burglaries, 555 car break-ins and about 600 reported thefts since the beginning of the year.
Police said there has been no noticeable spike in crime over the years, and most cases involve nonviolent crimes like burglary and some theft.
But Capt. Robert Green said despite the quiet atmosphere, it is important to maintain police presence. They previously worked out of a trailer donated by the state National Guard.
"This brings us further into the community," Green said. "It's easier for people to come to us, and us to get to the people."