HPD seeks new Waipahu substation
Honolulu police are looking for a new location for the Waipahu substation after 17 years in the Don Quijote shopping center.
The Police Department moved out of the substation at 94-144 Farrington Highway in December, after receiving a 30-day notice that its lease was not being renewed.
It caught the Police Department and community leaders by surprise, and after two months, the city still is looking for another location.
"We were shocked," said George Yakowenko, vice chairman of the Waipahu Neighborhood Board. "Usually when something like that happens, I think the common good is to give people notice."
Assistant Police Chief Debora Tandal said the lease on the substation had a clause allowing the landlord to give the department a 30-day notice.
"They just exercised that, so we moved out and we're currently looking for another location," she said, adding that "quite a few people" have approached the department with offers to locate the substation on their property.
A police sergeant and three officers were based at the substation as part of the area's Weed and Seed area project. The officers now are located at the Pearl City substation.
Tandal said that even though there is no substation, police patrols have not decreased.
The substation, which was not staffed 24 hours a day, was used mainly as a base so beat officers in the area could file reports, she said.
"It hasn't taken away any of the services from Waipahu," Tandal said. "It's just a lot more convenient to have that presence. ... Since we have officers for that Weed and Seed area, we'd like to keep them there."
"People in the community should know where they can go to get officers sometimes," said police spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii. "They need visibility and accessibility for quicker services."
Tandal said the owners were not obligated to give a reason for not renewing the lease and did not offer one. She added that she understands the needs of a business. The police department paid $1,200 per month in rent.
Don Quijote officials were not available for comment yesterday.
Yakowenko said police presence in the area deterred criminal activity and hopes that a substation is established again soon.