HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a two month closure for maintenance and repairs, Old Stadium Park reopened this week and is looking the best it has in years.
To keep it that way, the city hired Hawaii Protective Association to provide around-the-clock security.
The company will deploy a pair of guards who’ll conduct roving patrols at Old Stadium Park and eight other urban Honolulu playgrounds.
Guards won’t hand out tickets, instead they’ll educate people on park rules and call police when needed.
The one-month pilot project will cost the city $44,000.
“Our administration is going to keep trying new and different things to see how it works," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.
While squatters are out of the park, many haven’t gone far; they are now taking refuge in front of nearby homes and businesses.
“We’re paying too much. To move them from the park, to the street, to the sidewalk,” said Wally Lee, a Honolulu resident.
The Mayor acknowledged the problem and called out council leadership for delaying a pair of laws that would outlaw sidewalk obstructions and make it illegal to live in a public space if shelter is available.
Meanwhile, the other parks that will be guarded by security officers include: Aala Park, Ala Wai Community Park, Ala Wai Neighborhood Park, Crane Community Park, Kamamalu Neighborhood Park, Moiliili Neighborhood Park, Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park, and Pawaa In-Ha Park.
The city’s plans to expand this program to parks in windward Oahu and on the North Shore are in the final stages.