Police cameras will be deployed at lookout points

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / MAY 7 Sandy Beach Park is one of the areas in the mobile video surveillance camera pilot program. HPD officers help people file a police report after their vehicle is broken into in the park.

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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / MAY 7

Sandy Beach Park is one of the areas in the mobile CCTV camera pilot program. HPD officers help people file a police report after their vehicle is broken into in the park.

Video cameras mounted on at least four mobile security trailers will be used by the Honolulu Police Department to prevent car burglaries, thefts, vandalism and other crimes at popular Eastside tourist hotspots. Oahu.

As part of a multi-year, $64,000 pilot project that begins July 1, HPD will deploy mobile video platforms — replete with flashing blue lights and eventually audio speakers — to parking lots near the lighthouse overlook. Makapuu Point, Kaiwi State Scenic Coastal Trails and Halona Blowhole. Lanai Lookout and Lookout, near Koko Head Shooting Complex.

Observation sites are frequently visited by tourists and are highly prone to property crimes, according to HPD.

Although car burglaries are seasonal — with more incidents occurring during the summer when visitors arrive on the island — on average, police receive about 50 reports of car break-ins per month, HPD says.

To combat these crimes, HPD wants to rent portable trailers with cameras atop a mast-like post. Video images gleaned from mobile cameras will be used to identify suspects. The cost to the city will be about $3,000 per month per security trailer, HPD says.

But not everyone in the community wants more police surveillance in public places.

“I don’t want to live in a society where we have government cameras everywhere,” Hawaii Kai resident Natalie Iwasa said at the June 5 city council meeting.

In response, Council Member Matt Weyer said he generally agreed with Iwasa, but noted that “this is a very common practice and for a very specific purpose.”

“I know a lot of our city parks are equipped with cameras, and when I was a prosecutor, we had evidence of a camera for a strangulation case in Ala Moana that we wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for There had been no security camera there,” he said. added. “Given that it’s for a very specific purpose, I think it’s appropriate.”

Council voted to adopt the pilot program, pursuant to Council President Tommy Waters’ Resolution 64, which states that in 2023 alone, 225 vehicle burglaries were reported at overlooks in east of Honolulu.

In May, HPD Maj. Brian Lynch told the Council’s Public Safety Committee that “the majority of victims of these crimes are tourists.”

But when it comes to HPD’s sought-after camera technology to catch suspected thieves or prevent crimes, Lynch said it’s nothing new. “It’s the same thing used in Chinatown and Waikiki,” he added.

The main advantage of the project is that HPD will not use city-owned equipment, he said.

“We’re going to rent them,” Lynch…

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