Security firm eyed to keep Hawaii homeless out of parks
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige said officials are working to hire a private security firm to enforce Kakaako park hours and keep the homeless out of the parks when they are closed for the night.
Some of the Kakaako parks closed three weeks ago due to homeless encampments have reopened but officials want to make sure a rash of damage and loitering doesn’t happen again.
Hawaii sheriff’s deputies are currently enforcing the parks’ hours and providing surveillance, but the state wants to hire a private security firm to handle those duties.
Ige said the Hawaii Community Development Authority wants to hire a firm next month that would provide security, homeless outreach services and removal and storage of property, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.
He said the contract would ensure “we can keep the parks open to the public during the hours that it is open and make sure that it’s closed to the public and everyone regardless of housing status during the times when the park is closed.”
Earlier this month, the state shut down Kakaako Waterfront Park, Kakaako Gateway Park and Kewalo Basin Park. An estimated 180 homeless people were ousted from the parks after officials said they caused about $500,000 in damage.
Kewalo Basin and Kakaako Gateway parks have reopened along with the Point Panic area of Kakaako Waterfront Park. Waterfront Park and its parking lot remain closed as the state continues repair work.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com