Damage to fiber optic cables delays launch of Waikiki surveillance system

Updated: May. 3, 2019 at 3:35 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Delays have postponed the launch of a new high-tech surveillance system going up in Waikiki.

Back in February, after a spike in violent crime, the visitor industry bought the city 44 security cameras. The first phase of cameras were supposed to be operational a month ago.

And along Kalakaua Avenue, the new security cameras can be seen at almost every intersection. But they’re not recording anything ― yet.

Kai Coffee just opened a few weeks ago, and manager Tony Luat says he had no idea the cameras outside the shop weren’t working.

[Read more: New security cameras, more police among new strategies to battle Waikiki crime]

“There’s a lot of stuff that happens right on the streets out here,” said Luat. “We need those cameras for sure.”

Hawaii News Now was there when crews began installing the high-definition surveillance system back in February.

That’s when Mayor Caldwell announced his plan to curb crime in the state’s No. 1 tourism destination, telling media the first cameras would be operational by the end of March.

But that didn’t happen.

Once crews started installing the cameras, they discovered some of the fiber optic cables had been damaged by workers doing other construction projects.

“It was basically fiber optic cable that was kinked or otherwise damaged to the point where it couldn’t carry a signal properly,” said Ross Sasamura, director of Honolulu’s Department of Facilities Maintenance.

In addition to those repairs, Sasamura also confirms the city will likely have to hire an outside contractor to help with some of the work.

He said, “It’s an ongoing process to identify where we still need to install the fiber optic cable. And where we’re able to access existing.”

Meantime, Luat says he hopes the city can get the cameras working sooner rather than later, saying you never know when you might need one.

“It’s something that does happen for sure. That’s kind of inevitable,” said Luat.

The city says it hopes to have the first few cameras up and running by June.

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