Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 |
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What a night! The mayor, the county Planning Commission members and the police
came to the North Shore to touch base with the residents on the night of Nov.
14. Our heads are still spinning.
The folks at Kilauea Neighborhood
Association really appreciated the police dropping by after a long day of work
and clueing us all in on what we can do to help make our town a safer place to
Kilauea has been plagued by a series of burglaries, and many were
curious about which houses were getting hit. Was there a profile? Turns out
there is no profile, except that these are houses where people are away during
the day, working. So the solution the police suggested was to form neighborhood
watch organizations and keep an eye out for each other.
Sounds like a nice
way to get to know your neighbor. Maybe a block party afterward?
people were interested in drugs as the precipitating cause of the burglaries,
and the cops agreed. There was a lot of sentiment in favor of getting police
dogs into the airport to intercept drugs coming onto the island.
said two dogs are finally on the way, and legally we also need a DEA agent to
be involved in arrests. They also said we should lobby our senators and
representatives to get an agent here quickly, and make sure the dogs get here
in a timely fashion.
How long have we been waiting for dogs in the airport?
The North Shore is very tired of the drug problem in our area. Too many hard
More talk on drugs. The police suggested we get to know the cops in
our area and develop relationships with them. Once we are known and trusted by
individual police, they can use us as a trusted source if we get information
about houses where drugs are being sold. Then they can use that as a reason
(probable cause) to get a warrant to legally enter and search a house, without
your name being used. The cop with whom you have a relationship will protect
your anonymity – no fears of retaliation by the drug dealers.
So this is a
good reason for more community-police relationship. Community policing is
something that is catching on and doing really well on the mainland. It may be
connected with the big drop in crime the mainland is experiencing.
North Shore community was also concerned that marijuana and harder drugs are
all being lumped together with no distinction.
The police protested that
at least one burglary in Kilauea was motivated by a kid who wanted to increase
his marijuana supply, and that marijuana was a gateway drug toward harder
Most people seemed in agreement that alcohol and tobacco were also
gateway drugs, and this was reinforced by a lady from one of the social service
agencies who reminded us that most children are introduced to drugs at home by
their relatives and family friends.
She said it is up to us to model
healthier behavior for our children and to teach our children by example, to
take responsibility for ourselves and to deal more honestly with our own
addictive behaviors. She got a round of applause from the audience.
maybe the answer is for parents to do their part in keeping marijuana and
alcohol and tobacco out of the hands of kids, at least at home, at least until
they are 18 – and 21 would be better. That way they have a chance to learn how
to deal with their problems sober and grow up without all the detrimental
effects of too much pot too early. Like growing up in big danger of becoming an
addict, or never growing up at all.
There was particular concern about
“ice,” or methamphetamine, which can be made with chemicals from a hardware
store. The police said they thought our local dealers were too lazy to make it
themselves, were importing it, and that the dogs would be trained to sniff it
It seems that, like the teachers, police are underpaid in our
community and undervalued. So it is difficult to get new officers, and we are
down a number of positions on Kaua’i. Several policemen were kind, intelligent,
caring guys who had plans to retire in the next year or so. I got the distinct
impression they loved their jobs and were very good at them, but were so turned
off by the politics of how the police are allocated that they’d had
They told me about staffing problems that favored the West Side over
the rest of the island. The West Side, they told me, has about 12 percent of
the crime on the island, and yet it gets 40 percent of the police
The area from Anahola Bridge to Puhi has 75 percent of the crime
and needs more police allocated, and the North Shore feels that it is
understaffed, as well, with one or two officers in the Princeville substation.
Why is this going on?
They said it might have something to do with the fact
that a large number of our County Council members live on the West Side, as
does the very powerful police commissioner, Norman Holt. They said there is
group of powerful men on the West Side who will fight to keep things status
quo. These men don’t seem to have a big view of what’s good for the island as a
whole, which is very sad for Kaua’i.
What can be done to bring all the
different parts of the island together in a way that makes us feel like one
people, instead of playing us off against each other? If we only had a mayor
who really cared about all the people of Kaua’i, instead of just the rich and
powerful – one who actually set an example of leadership, taking care of
situations nlike this one with the police.
Wouldn’t that be
Liz Randol is a North Shore-area resident. She can be reached at
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