HPD nixes UH patrols
Police concerns have delayed the plan, says Manoa's security chief
Armed off-duty Honolulu police officers will not be patrolling the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus and off-campus housing areas until the university and police resolve concerns about the program, UH-Manoa Campus Security Chief Neal Sakamoto said yesterday.
The university put out a press release Wednesday announcing that the patrols would take place from "dusk to dawn" -- 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- starting this Sunday.
But Sakamoto said police raised concerns after the announcement, and the patrols have been put on hold. He said the university and police had been discussing the proposal for several months, and it had been approved by both sides before the announcement.
Two Honolulu police officers were to be hired at $55 an hour for two six-hour shifts at a cost of about $280,000 a year.
The postponement of the patrols comes after two burglaries at the UH-Manoa faculty housing complex near the Manoa Shopping Center.
The break-ins at the Kauiokahaloa Iki Faculty/Staff Condos came a month after the university increased security in the dorms in the wake of a burglary and sexual assault in a freshman dorm on Aug. 18.
The thefts at the faculty housing complex happened on Tuesday.
However, university officials say the timing of the announcement of the patrols and the decision to patrol the off-campus faculty housing areas and the UH president's residence on College Hill had nothing to do with the burglaries.
Sakamoto said the university is still working on hiring eight additional campus security officers and is still deciding whether to ask the Legislature to allow Campus Security to carry guns and have police powers. School officials also are still discussing whether they can locate a Honolulu police substation on campus.
The university issued a security alert after the thefts at the faculty housing complex on Lowrey Avenue. Residents were urged to watch for suspicious people in the area.
Robert Lui, manager of the complex, said two condos were broken into. Jalousies were removed from one apartment, and there was no sign of forced entry in the other apartment.
The thief or thieves apparently knew what they were after, Lui said, taking expensive jewelry and leaving other items.
Because there was no sign of forced entry in one case, Lui said the university is urging faculty to be mindful of locking doors. He said they are also looking into other ways of making the complex more secure.
However, he noted that the complex is in a neighborhood without much traffic or people who might notice a burglar.
"For the advantage of having this peace and quiet, it works against us," he said.
Some residents say they still feel safe in the complex.
"I guess people get surprised when it's Manoa," said Petrice Flowers. But she said Manoa is not immune from crime. "I don't feel like this area is particularly dangerous."
Another faculty resident, who asked not to be identified, said his most valuable possession is his research.
"We're not wealthy families," he said. "Hopefully, not many people are interested in (stealing) research journals."