City to install new security cameras in Chinatown in effort to curb crime

On Thursday, city officials met with the community to discuss initiatives to make the area safer.
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 5:46 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Crime has been an issue in Chinatown for decades, frustrating many residents and business owners.

On Thursday, city officials met with the community to discuss initiatives to make the area safer.

About 75 people attended a community meeting at the old Liberty Bank building with city officials, including Mayor Rick Blangiardi and Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan.

The mayor unveiled a new attempt to help curb crime in the area.

He said the city will be replacing and installing 52 security cameras on major intersections, each costing $4,500.

Due to supply chain issues, they’re putting up a dozen cameras in three phases.

The first phase of the cameras will be installed this month.

“This is a job that can weigh on your patience and we feel it down here, we understand the need to respond, respond immediately to be as aggressive as we can,” said Blangiardi. “And so, part of what we did today was reassure these people that not only we are not indifferent to what’s happening out here, we’re aware and we’re all over as far as helping to solve the problems.”

Ra Long, owner of Fred’s Sundries liquor store, which is in a hotspot for crime in Chinatown, attended the meeting.

“I’ve been to a lot of neighborhood board meetings and those cameras, we’ve been talking about the last three or four years so haven’t even come up again,” said Long. “And actually, taking steps to get those 52 cameras, is a major help for our community.”

Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan said they’re still trying to fill twelve foot patrol positions for Chinatown.

“We’re working incentives to hire more officers we’re working through Department of Education on looking at bringing young high school graduates into the Honolulu Police Department,” said Logan. “As a cadet program, paying them, employing them into our department, taking them through the training that they would go through as an officer.”

Hawaii News Now spoke with people who say they left the meeting with new hope.

“The things that the mayor is doing and the strategizing every week is real,” said Chu Lan Shubert-Kwak, president of the Chinatown Business and Community Association. “I never felt more confident that they mean what they say.”

“It’s been hard but hopefully with this step it turns around,” said Long.