By Ryen Palmeira and Shannyn Soliven
HNN Summer Interns
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- In an effort to curb vandalism, the city will install cameras, gates and other security measures at parks island-wide.
"How do we make sure that people enjoy these great parks? And if we show more love for our parks maybe the community will show more love for our parks," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, at a news conference Friday.
The new measures follow a three-month pilot program launched in April, which included more security at 25 city parks. The initial contract with American Guard Services Inc. cost approximately $26,000, the city said.
On Friday, officials didn't immediately know how much new security efforts would cost. Those details are expected to be hammered out by the fall.
The city said that vandalism cost the Department of Parks and Recreation more than $224,000 in fiscal year 2018.
"It's hard enough to cut the grass, which was recently cut, to fix sprinklers, but when folks come into our parks and they our trash restrooms and break sprinkler heads and burn picnic tables and our hurt public facilities, it makes it even more difficult just to do the basic maintenance and repair that is required every day," Caldwell said.
But Caldwell said the new security measure appear to have helped, and park vandalism is on the decline.
And while urban parks are the priority focus, the mayor said he plans to expand security efforts to rural parks as well.
Along with gates and cameras, the new contract is adding another security measure — parking lots will be closed on a nightly basis. Any cars in the lot after closing will be locked in until the next morning.