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Park security initiatives showing signs of success

O‘AHU -- As various park security programs are extended and expanded throughout the island, signs of their success indicate a positive outcome for the city's common areas.

In Fiscal Year 2018 (July 2017 to June 2018) the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) spent nearly $234,000 through its park maintenance crews to address damage caused by vandalism. In Fiscal Year 2019 (July 2018 to June 2019) the amount spent was nearly $223,000, representing a 5% decrease. This also represents the first drop in vandalism-related costs from fiscal year to fiscal year since DPR began tracking this statistic in 2014.

These figures represent the costs incurred through DPR operational funds, and do not include large Capital Improvement Projects which are required in cases of extreme damage from vandalism. For example, the two arson cases at Kai‘aka Bay Beach Park and Ke‘ehi Lagoon. Both of these criminal acts cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars to replace the torched facilities.

"From the very beginning our parks have been a priority for this administration, and while the ultimate solution is to foster greater respect for our public areas, these security programs at select parks are working," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. "Whether it's park rangers, security cameras, locking our parks or having private security guards conduct patrols, these new tools have shown positive results and I'm happy our program is expanding with partnership and support from the City Council and from the state through the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority."

The park security programs include the following initiatives:

  • Securing parks
  • Active park patrols
  • Surveillance camera monitoring
  • Park rangers

Securing parks

In April 2018 Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a pilot project for a contracted security company to secure comfort stations and parking lots at select parks during closure hours. It began with 25 park locations in urban Honolulu, and was expanded to add 34 rural park locations by the end of 2018. That brought the total number of parks under this program to 59.

The program is now adding three park locations to the contract and extending the initiative for another year. The list of park locations is included below, with the order of the parks in clockwise direction around the island:

District 1

  • Sandy Beach Park
  • Koko Head District Park
  • Waiʻalae Beach Park
  • Wilson Community Park
  • Petrie Community Park
  • Kapāolono Community Park
  • Pālolo Valley District Park
  • Crane Community Park
  • Kānewai Community Park
  • Mō‘ili‘ili Neighborhood Park
  • Old Stadium Park
  • Ala Wai Community Park

District 2

  • Dole Community Park
  • Smith-Beretania Park
  • ʻAʻala Park
  • Beretania Community Park
  • Kauluwela Mall
  • Na Pueo Mini Park
  • Loʻi Kalo Mini Park
  • Kalihi Uka Community Park
  • Fern Community Park
  • Kamehameha Neighborhood Park
  • Keʻehi Lagoon Park
  • Moanalua Community Park
  • Moanalua Valley Neighborhood Park
  • Ala Puʻumalu Community Park
  • Salt Lake District Park

District 3

  • Pearl Ridge Community Park
  • Neal S. Blaisdell Park
  • Mānana Community Park
  • Waipahu District Park
  • Waikele Community Park
  • Mililani Waena Neighborhood Park
  • Kīpapa Neighborhood Park
  • Melemanu Neighborhood Park
  • Kunia Neighborhood Park
  • ‘Ewa Beach Community Park
  • ‘Ewa Mahiko District Park
  • Kapolei Community Park
  • Kahiwelo Neighborhood Park
  • Kapolei Regional Park
  • Kahe Point Beach Park
  • Waiʻanae District Park
  • Māʻili Beach Park

District 4

  • Mokulēʻia Beach Park
  • ʻĀweoweo Beach Park
  • Waialua District Park
  • Kaiaka Bay Beach Park
  • Haleʻiwa Aliʻi Beach Park
  • Haleʻiwa Beach Park
  • Pūpūkea Beach Park
  • Banzai Skatepark
  • Hau‘ula Beach Park
  • Kahaluʻu Regional Park
  • Kahaluʻu Community Park
  • Kāneʻohe Civic Center Neighborhood Park
  • Kāneʻohe Beach Park
  • Waimānalo District Park
  • Waimānalo Bay Beach Park
  • Waimānalo Beach Park
  • Kaiona Beach Park
  • Kaupō Beach Park

Active park patrols

In November 2018 Mayor Caldwell announced a pilot project for active 24/7 security patrols at nine Honolulu park locations. Following the success of the pilot project, the contract was periodically extended. Now thanks to $1.2 million budget approval by the Honolulu City Council, the program will continue and is slated for expansion in addition to the original nine parks included in the pilot project:

  • ʻAʻala Park
  • Ala Wai Community Park
  • Ala Wai Neighborhood Park
  • Crane Community Park
  • Kamāmalu Neighborhood Park
  • Mōʻiliʻili Neighborhood Park
  • Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park
  • Old Stadium Park
  • Pāwaʻa In-Ha Park

Park rangers

This initiative involves DPR staff providing extra sets of eyes and ears in certain parks to help keep the public informed and safe, and to make sure infrastructure is not vandalized. Rangers are staffed at Ala Moana Regional Park, Kapi‘olani Park, and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Additional park rangers will also be deployed within Kaka‘aka park lands that are in the process of being transferred to the city by the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority (HCDA).

Surveillance cameras

Currently, there are seven DPR park locations with 33 security cameras. Through a partnership with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), DPR is planning on increasing the amount of surveillance cameras to six times the current number by installing approximately 192 cameras at 13 DPR locations island-wide. Those locations include the following:

  • Ala Moana Regional Park
  • Foster Botanical Garden
  • Hau‘ula Beach Park
  • Kalama Beach Park
  • Kapi‘olani Park
  • Kualoa Regional Park
  • Kūhiō Beach Park
  • Mākaha Beach Park
  • Makapu‘u Beach Park
  • One‘ula Beach Park
  • Patsy T. Mink Central O‘ahu Regional Park
  • Waimānalo Bay Beach Park
  • Waipi‘o Peninsula Soccer Complex

As part of this partnership, HTA will pay an estimated $204,000 for the installation of the cameras while DPR will cover the cost of the cameras ($38,800) in addition to maintenance.

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