Chief’s Corner: KPD technology systems to receive $5M upgrade

Q: A few weeks back a the County Council meeting, IT Manager Eric Knutzen and Deputy Chief Mark Begley talked about something concerning new computers for your department. I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. Could you tell me what they were saying in plain English?

• Sarah, Kapa‘a

A: I don’t blame you for being a little confused, with all of the new technology gismos coming out nowadays, it’s really difficult to keep up.

Essentially, several months back, Deputy Chief Mark Begley and I met with members of the state of Hawai‘i Wireless Enhanced 911 Board and pleaded our case to upgrade our systems. In an unprecedented decision, KPD was fortunate enough to have the board commit over $5 million to improve our current systems. By systems, I mean our Computer Aided Dispatching System and Records Management System.

Both have demonstrated limitations in their capabilities to meet our needs as we move forward. Therefore, the monies will be used toward that end. We will be looking to acquire the best technology that is able to adapt to current and future needs.

For example, in addition to upgrading our dispatching and records systems, KPD is committed to having Mobile Data Terminals in our vehicles to better facilitate the flow and exchange of information. These terminals will also allow our officers to complete their reports while still being available for calls of service.

Crimemapping is another program that will be offered to identify “hot spots” so that we will be better able to deploy our resources. There are a host of other things heading in our direction, but those are the main ones.

That’s it in a nutshell. Basically, it all boils down to better service delivery to keep our community safe. These changes won’t happen right away; it may take at least a couple of years before implementation is totally complete.

Q: I am sure you have heard it before, that the no-parking zone on eastbound Rice Street either needs to be enforced or removed. There is always at least one car in that lane after 3:30 p.m. creating a safety hazard for those going east in the right-hand lane. To merge to the inside lane and avoid an illegally parked car is also very hazardous.

For those accustomed to Rice Street, we simply stay out of the right lane and deal with the left-turn-stopped traffic — or take another route.

The county needs to enforce this no-parking zone or to remove it for the sake of safety. We live in Lawa‘i and work in Po‘ipu, but feel this Rice Street situation has gone on long enough.

• Chris, Lawa‘i

A: We are currently monitoring the situation on a daily basis and have issued nine parking citations. You bring up a good point because traffic in the area of Rice Street between Umi and Haleko always seem to be congested, and if there are parked cars, it only gets worse. Moreover, as vehicles attempt to expedite their movements, pedestrians are put in jeopardy.

We will be taking a good look at this situation and evaluate whether or not parking stalls along Rice Street in the area you mentioned should be removed for safety reasons and to facilitate traffic flow.

• Darryl Perry is the chief of police at the Kaua‘i Police Department. Send your comments or questions to dperry@kauai.gov

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