Public housing residents concerned about security changes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Public housing residents concerned about security changes

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KALIHI (KHNL) - Security changes at an Oahu public housing complex have some concerned about their personal safety.

Guards at Kalihi Valley Homes are now ordering guests to surrender their drivers licenses when they pull up to the front gate. Not everyone is comfortable with that.

Keflin Matin is frustrated. She tries to leave the public housing complex after a visit, and struggles to get her ID back.

"Do you worry about leaving your drivers license?" this reporter asked.

"Of course. I need my drivers license," Matin replied. "At this time, I'm in a rush and they keep holding it."

The confusion clears up. The guards finally return her card.

A letter to Kalihi Valley Homes residents details the changes in security procedures, which took effect this week.

"All visitor's (sic) must leave their driver's license with the Security Officer at Gate A in order to receive a visitor parking pass. When visitor's (sic) exit the premises through Gate A their driver's license will be returned," the notice said.

A frequent guest, who doesn't want to be identified for fear of retaliation, worries about identity theft.

"I don't know people's background," she said referring to the guards. "And especially, you know, information on your ID -- especially your name, your address, your birth date, stuff like that -- that's very high risk to me."

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority says it's concerned about the health and safety of residents and visitors following a recent rash of crime at the complex.

"This a minimal step to have more control of guests who come in, so they don't cause property damage or physical harm," Chad Taniguchi, executive director, said.

He also says the guards go through a screening process, and that one component of their training is "confidentiality of information they receive."

Some wonder what would happen if they got into a car accident while driving on the property.

"The law is if you do not have your drivers license on you, you are at fault and you will get a ticket," the concerned guest said.

Housing officials say if people suspect any abuses, they should notify management immediately.

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