Manoa residents want answers from nearby at-risk youth center - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Manoa residents want answers from nearby at-risk youth center

Tom Heinrich Tom Heinrich
Punky Pletan-Cross Punky Pletan-Cross

MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds in East Oahu gathered Monday night to voice their concerns over a taxi driver's murder, allegedly involving two Hale Kipa residents.

The facility for high risk youths sparked a heated debate. City and state officials hosted this discussion.

They weren't hoping to solve any problems in just one night, but they hoped it would open some lines of communication within the community.

Some residents we spoke to say they didn't even know Hale Kipa was even in their neighborhood.

While others say they want to learn more about the program and prevent any type of tragic situation from happening again.

"So I think on one hand, there's a very strong sense of concern for public safety and for your neighbors and on the other side, it's also a matter of wanting to be better informed as to what is in the community," Manoa Neighborhood Board chair Tom Heinrich said.

Hale Kipa serves more than 3,000 youths and families each year. They have 19 locations on Oahu, Maui, the Big island and Kauai.

"We want to be as proactive as we can and I don't want to neighbors to walk down the street and be afraid of the kids that are in our program," Hale Kipa CEO Punky Pletan-Cross said.

Pletan-Cross says during his time, he's never heard of any of his youths being arrested for any crime while in the program.

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