Police station’s
move upsets
Hawaii Kai

Residents say the area needs
the new site more than Kaimuki

The diverse reaction to Mayor Jeremy Harris' announcement that the new East Honolulu police station will be in Kaimuki, not Hawaii Kai, illustrates how much residents value a visible police presence in their neighborhoods.

Harris said Thursday in his State of the City address that Police Chief Lee Donohue had chosen the National Guard Armory site at Fort Ruger on 22nd Avenue for the new station. The original proposed site was the Hawaii Kai Park & Ride.

The change angered one community while thrilling another.

Hawaii Kai residents and community leaders said yesterday that the city went back on its word.

"It's typical of Mayor Harris not listening to what the community wants. We did not want the median divider in Lunalilo Home Road which has created more traffic problems than solved," said mortgage broker Chester "Chet" Dal Santo. "And this is another example of politicians not listening to the community because the neighborhood board wanted (the police station) in Hawaii Kai."

Hawaii Kai residents also said their community needs more of a police presence because the area is growing and so is crime, including more burglaries.

David Matthews of Queen's Gate said that 1,000 more homes are planned for the area and that Hawaii Kai and the surrounding communities have the population to support its own station.

"It makes absolutely no sense to have it there (at Fort Ruger)," he said

Neighborhood board member Jeanette Hanson said that a police station would have provided officers a place to write reports and perform other duties, while keeping the presence in their neighborhood.

"We don't have a police station and we're quite a distance (from the main police station)," Hanson.

But Kaimuki Neighborhood Board Vice Chairwoman Lori Yamada was elated to hear that Kaimuki will be getting the station, something the community has wanted for a long time.

"I am very pleased to hear this news. This is so cool," she said.

Yamada said drug houses have emerged in the neighborhood in recent years, and having a station nearby will help to prevent burgeoning crime.

She also said that Kaimuki has many older residents who will have better peace of mind by having police in the neighborhood.

She said that having the station in Hawaii Kai would not have been good for Kaimuki residents because police response times would suffer. "If something happens and there's traffic on Kalanianaole Highway, how will the police come?"

Hawaii Kai residents respond that Kaimuki is close to the main police headquarters and can be easily serviced from officers stationed there.

"I think they should build it in Hawaii Kai," Matthews said.

Councilman Charles Djou said that he expects to hear an earful from the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board at its meeting next month. He also said that officials are still examining the issue of whether $5.5 million currently in the budget for the station can be used now that the proposed site has been moved.

City officials have said that the decision to locate the police station in Kaimuki is because it is more centrally located in the district than Hawaii Kai at the end of the district's boundaries.


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --