PROGRESS! CAT citizens are raising awareness.
CAT met with Mayor's Crime Task Force on July 9, 2013, right after The Garden Island presented an excellent article on crime. Both the Chief of Police and a Prosecuting Attorney from Justin Kollar's office gave reports. Chief Perry gave the Task Force a "wish list" for KPD. He requested more staff, help in stopping marijuana legalization, tighter gun control laws as legislative law enforcement packages to strengthen criminal codes and sanctions. He reviewed changes he has instituted to improve KPD in the last 5 years.
The Task Force is facing the problem that the Mayor does not appoint the Chief of Police nor does it have any influence on our judges. The Task Force is compiling a list of recommendations to the Mayor which include suggestions on law changes. George Costa, who heads the task Force, will appreciate any input from CAT members. It is our understanding that the Task Force is trying to make a difference although it has limited powers to act.
The Prosecuting Attorney reiterated that with the current laws, it is difficult to get convictions. Today's court system adds to prosecutions problems. We got the feeling that everyone at the meeting thinks our CJS needs to get tougher on crime and that the system needs to be changed in order to facilitate stiffer punishment.
CAT reported on our goals and offered our help to the Task Force. We were invited to attend future meetings. So if you want to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, the Task Force requests our help in fundraising for the "Crime Stoppers Program." Contact Kauai Crime Stoppers at 808-241-1887. They are very short on funds. This has been a good program in helping to curb crime. Fundraising ideas will be appreciated.
CAT MEMBERS ACTIVE ON MAYOR'S COUNCIL ON CRIME
JANUARY 2016 CAT received the following letter from a member of the Council on Crime.
Aloha Crime Task Force Members ,
At monthly KBA board meetings I report on the meetings we have and also on the number we miss. I get lots of flack from other board directors about that issue when there’s a rash of break-ins on the Eastside as has happened this last week. Below you’ll find a letter to me after the last board meeting where Kevin was somewhat upset and insisted I circular this to the Committee:
Per our discussion this morning, something needs to change on this island, specifically in Kapa’a as it pertains to residents and visitors being victims of car break-ins and burglaries. In the last week alone, I know of three properties along the Coconut Coast where rooms have been broken into in broad daylight and the early evening hours. I am also aware of a few car break-ins that affected residents. The culprits that are responsible for these acts will continue to do this until the community, our elected officials, and the Kauai Police Department start working together. From what I’ve seen over the last year the problems are getting worse every day.
I’ve also been made aware that county meetings are supposed to be held monthly with Mr. Costa to address crime on Kauai. Unfortunately, a meeting hasn’t been held in the last four months from what I understand for one reason or another which is deplorable. When is the next meeting supposed to take place? I’m not going to mince words when I say that leadership is lacking on Kauai in many ways when it comes to crime. I’ve only been on Kauai since February of 2015, but I am active in the community and I’m very concerned that visitors will stop coming to Kauai if our government, local police, and the community don’t do something to eradicate the homeless and other culprits who are responsible for these acts.
I sit on the KBA and RCCA Boards and I applaud everyone’s efforts because I know some are just as frustrated as I am. I want to be part of the solution even if I have to sit on another board. People like yourself, Sue Kanoho, and others work tirelessly to promote Kauai and all they get is lip service from the people who can enact change at the county and state levels. As long as I’m on Kauai, I plan on being a leader in this area and not a follower. Kaua’i and the State of Hawaii have a lot to lose if we don’t address our crime problems soon.
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HELP THE POLICE HELP US: It has come to attention of CAT that the KPD needs our help. The County Commission needs to fund enough Police Officers to help stop crime on Kauai. Since 1989, the Kauai population is up 38% not counting the increased number of tourist. In 1989 the KPD had 134 Police Officers. They now have 152 Police Officers up just 13% in the same time period. The KPD has funding for 162 which would be an increase of just 20%.
They do not have enough officers to patrol and answer calls on an average day. The Department of Justice national standards ratio is 2.3 police officers for every 1000 citizens. The KPD is 1.8 or 44 police officers short. Even with crime down over the last four years, the KPD need new the officers to protect us and do their job.
All CAT members needs to contact our County Commissioners and have them get tough on crime by fully funding the needed police officers.