HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Mayor Caldwell last week pledged to try and find $8 million to help pay for more police officers as our city experienced a spike in violent crime.
Honolulu has long been considered – and still is – one of the safest big cities in America. But that was partly because the criminal element seem to have plenty of less violent outlets; drugs, gambling, prostitution and property crimes.
But now we are seeing more crime using guns and force against innocent civilians – many of them tourists.
Chief Ballard has been warning the council and administration about a severe shortage of police officers ever since she took the job. To the point where some victims of non-violent crime like burglary are being told that their cases will not be actively investigated; unless a solid lead develops.
Even if the department gets the money it wants – the earliest that could happen is next summer, when next years budget takes effect.
Once again this was a need that the city was well aware of but it didn’t get the attention of the mayor and council until robberies of tourists were getting caught on security cameras and put on the internet.
Fear of impacts on the tourist industry is justified – but we hope the city is equally concerned about the well being of the rest of us.