Tackling Truancy in Kapolei - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tackling Truancy in Kapolei

Leslie Mason Leslie Mason

By Howard Dashefsky

KAPOLEI (KHNL) -   Tired of seeing a growing number of students off campus,  concerned parents, local business people, and police and heam up to become 'KOPS'. The Kapolei Ohana Patrol Sqaud.

And they're looking out for anyone who chooses to cut classes.

'I was concerned about the number of students I saw out of the campus during the school day' says patrol member Leslie Mason. ' Not only were off campus they were smoking cigarettes and doing other things they shouldn't be."  

Another parent  found a bag of marijuana just behind the campus last Thursday. Because of that discovery patrol members keep a closer watch over areas where illegal activity is more likely to occur.

Although the patrol began last Wednesday, efforts are paying off according to HPD officer Antone Pacheco.. 

'The first couple days we had about 30 students that we had to corral back onto campus, but today maybe two and maybe tomorrow we'll be at zero'.

Students are allowed off campus during certain periods with the correct pass. But get caught without, and you have two choices.

‘If they don't have that pass they have to get on the campus and if they don't listen, we'll call the police 9-1-1 truancy".

With only three police officers on routine patrol in Kapolei, the patrol offers as many as 25 sets of additional eyes and ears.

And while not every student enjoys their presence, patrol member Leslie Mason says its for the safety of the students, as well as the entire Kapolei community.

"Some have said look it's the guardian angels, they like us out there, feel safer".

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