State admits 12 hours was too long to wait before alerting publi - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State admits 12 hours was too long to wait before alerting public about escapees

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii's Public Safety director acknowledged Friday that his department could have done a better job alerting residents after three men escaped from the Waiawa Correctional Facility on Tuesday.

Area residents were furious that almost 12 hours went by before the public was alerted about the escape.

One of the escapees remains on the run, while two others were nabbed Thursday. 

Investigators said they've identified the path that was likely used by the inmates and pieces of clothing on the secluded compound's barbed wire fence.

Nolan Espinda, state Department of Public Safety Director, said the residents concerns are founded.

"The process is -- very simply -- sooner rather than later. In this particular instance, we could have been sooner," he said. "Nothing's perfect. We're not perfect and we vow to improve our services."

This call for more transparency comes as the department is looking at locations for the new Oahu Community Correctional Center.

Four sites around the island are being considered for the new jail -- two in Aiea, one in Mililani, and one in Kalihi. 

"It has to be in a location that's efficient and has to be amongst services and resources that are going to be most economical and practical for the taxpayers," Espinda said. 

The department has been meeting with residents in all communities that could be impacted. A town hall is scheduled for Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Aloha Stadium's hospitality room. Public safety representatives will discuss the proposed project and address any concerns. 

"This is part of our exhaustive, ongoing effort to assure this whole project and everything we do along the way is transparent," Espinda said. 

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