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Interim chief: Spotting trends, addressing hotspots part of HPD’s plan to tackle rise in violent crime

Cities across the country are dealing with a surge in violence.
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 5:30 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 27, 2022 at 9:00 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Cities across the country are dealing with a surge in violence ― and HPD’s interim police chief told commissioners Wednesday that Honolulu is no exception.

Interim Chief Rade Vanic said it’s a post-COVID trend. Closures kept crime in check for the most part, but re-openings have created opportunities, Vanic said.

“Crimes against persons, robberies is an example,” he said, at Wednesday’s meeting.

Honolulu has seen 13 murders already this year, compared to 19 all of 2020. If those numbers continue, the island would surpass pre-pandemic years.

The number of crimes committed with guns, especially robberies, is also growing.

Vanic said a record number of gun registrations went through during COVID.

“Would be interesting to take a look at, some of these firearms that are being used maybe have been registered within the past couple of years,” he said.

Vanic told the commission he does have a plan to combat the problem.

“We do use technology and different predictive models, we also do use plainclothes officers and uniformed officers in various capacities when we see trends and hotspots,” he said.

Meanwhile, there are no arrests in the most recent murder on Oahu ― which happened in Waimanalo on Saturday night. HPD has not provided any updates to reassure the public if this was not a random act, despite multiple requests from Hawaii News Now.

There is a person of interest, according to sources, but nothing official.

“For the people who are victims of crime or live in the neighborhoods where that’s happening to them it’s very, very serious,” said Police Commissioner Doug Chin.

“When we talk about numbers it’s not to minimize what’s happening to these people.”

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