School turns to technology to beat vandals - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

School turns to technology to beat vandals

Sheldon Oshio Sheldon Oshio
Thomas Lee Thomas Lee
Kelli Watanabe Kelli Watanabe

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

AIEA (KHNL) - A Honolulu elementary school targeted by trespassers is turning to technology to tackle their threat. New security cameras installed for free by a nearby company now keep the campus safe.

Aiea's Waimalu Elementary experienced a rash of graffiti and vandalism this year.

Thieves stole bottles and cans from the school's recycling project, vandals defaced various campus walls. But, thanks to $10,000 of donated surveillance equipment, the schools a lot more secure.

Class is dismissed at Waimalu elementary, but that's prime time for trespassers.

"People were writing with crayons on the walls, some tagging, some graffiti," said Principal Sheldon Oshio.

"It records all night," said Audio Visual Company President Thomas Lee.

Concerned for student safety, Aiea's The Audio Visual Company stepped in to help, installing four security cameras along the outside perimeter of campus worth $10,000. For the company, the recent crime hit close to home.

"A lot of my employee's kids go there, a lot of my nephews and nieces go there, its right next door," said Lee.

The next day, a gang of three kids sprayed graffiti on campus walls. Cameras caught their faces; they were arrested that same afternoon. Only in operation for weeks, the school says the cameras have cut down crime by more than 80%. These eyes in the sky tell trespassers that someone's always watching.

"We're in class everyday worrying about their academics and this is a preventative measure so we don't have to worry about our learning environment," said Teacher Kelli Watanabe.

"Having it clean and free of litter, graffiti and any other inappropriate vandalism is something that we want," said Oshio.

Using prevention to protect the safety of students, the school's technology teaches trespassers the lesson that crime doesn't pay.

Students and staff will make a special presentation on Friday, December 12th to The Audio Visual Company and the Pearl City Police Department for their help in catching the vandals.

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