Campus police force could enforce laws
The police chief has rejected a request from the University of Hawaii for off-duty police officers to patrol the Manoa campus at night.
WHILE University of Hawaii officials continue to mull over whether to ask the Legislature to allow armed security guards, crime continues on the Manoa campus and the Honolulu Police Department has rejected UH's request for rent-a-cops.
The time has come for UH to give its security officers the same police powers that exist at other campuses across the county.
State Auditor Marion Higa pointed out six months ago that UH-Manoa was the only university on her list of a dozen colleges with similar enrollments at which campus security officers lack police powers to make arrests and carry weapons. Higa reported that UH President David McClain had dropped his plan to present the idea to the Legislature after a UH committee recommended it two years ago.
Neal Sakamoto, the UH-Manoa security chief, planned to hire off-duty Honolulu police officers to patrol the campus from dusk to dawn beginning last night, but police Chief Boisse P. Correa rejected the proposal. Two burglaries had been reported recently at the faculty housing complex near the Manoa Shopping Center.
Higa noted that each of the UH peer institutions on her list has a campus police force to make arrests. None relies solely on security officers. The UH security officers are directed to enforce "pertinent laws, rules and regulations," but when a campus incident warrants an arrest, HPD is called to the scene.
"Said another way," Higa noted, "security officers are given the responsibility to enforce the law without the tools necessary to carry out their mission." Legislators should give them those tools in their next session.
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