Residents chip in to hire
Moanalua police patrol

Residents are hoping that a beefed-up police presence will discourage speeding, burglaries and car thefts in Moanalua Valley.

And they're willing to pay for it.

A handful of residents, including state Rep. Glenn Wakai (D, Moanalua Valley-Salt Lake), chipped in $70 to hire a Honolulu police officer for two hours of extra duty to patrol their neighborhood last night.

"I want to see how this first night goes," Wakai said yesterday, "and wait for reaction and feedback."

If the feedback is positive, Wakai is hoping the Moanalua Valley Community Association will pick up the tab for hiring more police officers for extra duty.

"I think it's a good idea," said Toki Nishida, who lives near the entrance to the valley. He said he sees cars speeding up and down Ala Aolani Street all day.

"In the morning, a lot of senior citizens walk the street. It's dangerous for them," he said.

Nishida said his home has been burglarized several times in the past five years. And Wakai said his car has been stolen twice from in front of his house. Nishida said Honolulu police are doing a good job, but he believes having more police officers will discourage outsiders from entering the neighborhood to commit crimes.

Honolulu Police Department spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii said the department provides adequate staffing, but is happy to provide officers on extra duty to communities that feel the increased visibility will serve as a deterrent.

Police officers hired on extra duty wear uniforms and can perform all the regular functions of law enforcement, including ticketing speeders.

"We welcome these types of partnerships and collaboration," he said.

Fujii said other community associations have been hiring officers for extra duty in the past 10 years. Off-duty police officers are available for traffic control and security through HPD's Human Resources Division.

Wakai said he chose last night to have an officer on extra duty to crack down on speeding in the back of the valley.

"Friday night is race night in Moanalua Valley," he said.

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