Official proposes armed park rangers to deter homeless

Official proposes armed park rangers to deter homeless
Homeless outreach workers say the chronically homeless need lots of assistance to move off the streets.

HONOLULU (AP) - A Honolulu official is proposing stationing armed park rangers at city parks, where homeless encampments are common, because of a growing amount of trash and safety concerns.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported ( ) Sunday that residents have taken issue with piles of trash and smell they say come from homeless encampments.

City Councilman Trevor Ozawa wants residents to vote on an amendment to place armed park rangers in city parks. The proposed rangers would be able to address illegal camping, littering and vandalism and enforce no-smoking policies.

The city already has an unarmed park ranger program in place and has added a second shift for city park workers. Mayor Kirk Caldwell says he wants conditions at parks to improve, but thinks armed park rangers would be an unnecessary expense.

Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser,

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.