2 off-duty officers to make UH rounds
Two off-duty Honolulu police officers will be patrolling the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, dorms, faculty housing complex and the UH president's home on College Hill at night under an agreement announced yesterday by the university.
UH-Manoa is hiring the officers starting Sunday to patrol the campus and off-campus properties in Manoa from dusk to dawn -- 6 p.m. until 6 a.m., according to a university news release.
It will cost UH-Manoa $55 an hour per officer, said campus spokesman Gregg Takayama. The special-duty officers will work six-hour shifts and the estimated $280,000 annual cost will come from an appropriation from the Legislature for campus security, said Kathy Cutshaw, UH-Manoa vice chancellor for administration.
"These police officers will provide added security to UH-Manoa students and staff at night, plus rapid response in case of any on-campus emergencies," Cutshaw said in the news release.
The announcement comes after the university beefed up security at the dorms, following a sex assault and burglary of a student in her dorm room on Aug. 19.
"They should do something," said Monika Dix, a faculty member. "What kind of lifestyle is it when a stranger can come into the dorms?"
"I think it's a good idea," said student Melissa Kolonie, "just because of the increased danger at night with flashers and all the crazy people around."
But Scott Allen, another student, said: "It seems unnecessary. We could use the money for different things." Allen would rather see the university reduce costs and maybe tuition.
Since the Aug. 19 incident, the university housing department has spent $69,120 to beef up security at the dorms, Takayama said.
The campus is moving toward having the reception desk manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week and increasing the identification checks in the dorms.
The university also conducted safety and security briefings for residents and tested and re-cored doors to make sure bathroom locks work with room keys and all student keys function properly.
Last month, the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii also started an investigation into security funds from Manoa that were diverted to providing security at Bachman Hall in 2005, after a sit-in in the UH President's Office.
But Carolyn Tanaka, the UH system vice president for external affairs, said the system office has re-paid UH-Manoa for the $3,000-a-month cost for guards and the system replaces the money.
"We found that if a bunch of people could just walk in and take over the building, we obviously had a safety concern," Tanaka said.