Bicycle Officers Enhance Security At UH Manoa

Warren Haney
Warren Haney

MANOA (KHNL) - Hawaii's largest college campus takes security a new direction. On Wednesday, the University of Hawaii at Manoa introduced bicycle security officers.

This is the new face of campus security. Bicycle officers start patrolling using a fleet of four two-wheelers.

"I think it's a good idea," said Israel Chavez, a UH Manoa senior. "I was happy to see it."

"I think any steps to adding more security to campus is always a good idea," said Zhi Hua Zheng, a UH Manoa sophomore.

This means bike officers can cover more of the campus, areas that are off limits to cars. Officials say that'll lead to faster response time.

"If there's an incident and the suspect is still around, we'll be there faster and we could sneak up on him and he wouldn't even know it," said Warren Haney, a campus security officer.

The move comes less than a month after a Virginia Tech student went on a shooting rampage on campus.

UH Manoa's interim chancellor says the bike patrol program had been in the works long before.

"I think, though, Virginia Tech really does give us all the reason to recognize the importance of our campus security," said Interim Chancellor Denise Eby Konan

Security officers don't carry guns. But that could change if proposals for "armed security" at the manoa campus become reality.

"Here having maybe guns is not necessary since Hawaii is a different environment," said Zheng.

Students are mixed on armed security, but generally welcome bike officers.

"Just not having to worry about my safety in college will allow me to focus more on my studies," said Zheng.

Minimizing distractions as students go through finals.

The school plans to add three more bikes, and train ten more bike officers. Officials hope to have at least two bike units per shift.