HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Radio communication is as much a crime fighting tool as anything else an officer uses because without contact with dispatchers officers can't be notified where to respond.
"We're spending money on a radio system, people's lives are depending that it works effectively and efficiently," said Donovan Dela Cruz, Honolulu City Councilmember.
Work started on Honolulu Police Department's new telecommunications system in 1994 but problems early on made it $30 million over budget and eight years delayed. That's one reason why Councilman Dela Cruz and the city council authorized a system audit back in 2003. It was only completed this month seven years later, which was disappointing for Dela Cruz.
"Especially when it comes to matters of health and public safety there always has to be a priority."
The city auditor's office has discretion on what it deems a priority. The new auditor, Edwin Young just took over in May. He admits waiting seven years is unacceptable and says his goal is to have audits completed in six months. He also told the council he wouldn't talk on camera which is why you're not hearing from him directly.
Dela Cruz also says if the city wants its audits faster it has to give more money and resources to the auditor's office.
"I hope that the new mayor and upcoming council are going to be able to ensure this doesn't happen again," said Dela Cruz.
As for the audit results, it found the police radio system had design flaws and poor management but overall it is reliable now because over the past seven years HPD already made the necessary changes.
Now that the system is reliable the auditor also says the city needs to think about replacing the system or adding more upgrades because the system is nearing 20 years old and the technology will be outdated. HPD says the city is looking into it.