City allots nearly $650K to bolster task force to clean up, make Chinatown safer

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced Wednesday that more money would be allotted to extend the Chinatown Task Force through the end of the year.
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 10:15 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police will be able to continue it’s Chinatown Task Force through the end of 2023 thanks to nearly $650,000 in federal money that is being set aside by the city to make the neighborhood safer.

The city launched the task force back in April 2021 and since then, the task force issued more than 5,000 citations and made 73 arrests.

The money pays for seven additional officers — one supervisor and six patrolmen — who are tasked to work the streets of Chinatown for four to five days per week on top of the resources that are already there.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangardi says he knows more work needs to be done but hopes continuing the task force will keep the neighborhood moving in the right direction.

”It’s not a quick fix. This is our ongoing commitment and we are going to stay committed,” said Blangiardi.

The funding was announced at a press conference on Wednesday, where the mayor invited members of the community to speak.

Ernest Caravalho is the chair of Neighborhood Board 13 and president of the Honolulu Chinatown Lions Club and spoke up during the announcement saying the responsibility is also on the community.

”The bottom line in restoring Chinatown and making it not just the heartland but the jewel of Oahu, the jewel of Honolulu is to get the people involved in it,” Caravalho said.

“No matter what our politicians, no matter what our police do, nothing will change unless the community can come forward and get up and move forward to clean up their city. It is going to take us.”

The city is also planning to install a total of 52 new security cameras throughout the neighborhood.

Blangiardi said supply chain issues have delayed some of that, but they have been able to install six so far.