Security cameras and monitors at state capitol broken

State Sen. Will Espero
State Sen. Will Espero
Keith Kamita, Department of Public Safety Deputy Director for Law Enforcement
Keith Kamita, Department of Public Safety Deputy Director for Law Enforcement

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There are concerns about safety at the State Capitol.  The video surveillance system isn't working properly and needs to be repaired or replaced completely.

The surveillance system was installed six years ago.  It worked great for the first three years.  Then money for maintenance ran out and it's been having problems ever since.

There are cameras at nearly every corner of the State Capitol.  They're necessary because it's where the governor, lawmakers and staff work.  But those that work at night may not know there are some holes in the surveillance system.

"This is the security system for our capitol and there are many people that believe it is working and it is giving them a false sense of security," said State Sen. Will Espero, (D) Ewa Beach, Waipahu.

The state says 9 out of 64 cameras are broken plus there are some problems with the computer and monitors as well.  But the Department of Public Safety says it's not as bad as people may think.

"We can tell you that the system is working, it may not be the best we want but it is working and that in conjunction with the deputies I think the public is safe," said Keith Kamita, Department of Public Safety Deputy Director for Law Enforcement.

The state fixed the system when world leaders were in town for APEC but it's broken again.  That's one reason why the state says it's probably better to replace the whole system even though its six years old.

"The system was fixed during APEC, so it was brought back up to operational. Everything was running. They jerry-rigged it to last but with an aged system it's starting to go down again," said Kamita.

It cost $200,000 when it was new, plus $30,000 a year for maintenance.  The state expects to put out bids for a new system this year.  Senator Espero wants to make sure that happens.

"This is a system which must be fixed," said Sen. Espero. "You have a system and it has a very important purpose and in this case it should be regularly monitored and maintained and over the years that has not been done."

It's not known how much a new video system will cost but Senator Espero wants to include the money for maintenance.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.