LIHUE — It has been nearly 18 years since a 400-square-foot Hurricane Iniki shelter next to Kapaa Beach Park was converted into a Kauai Police Department substation.
That station, in its first few years, was meant to be a place for officers to write reports.
Those needs, however, grew over time and the substation became a place where minor arrests were processed and residents and visitors could request assistance and file reports.
“The size of the substation was outgrown many years ago,” Deputy Police Chief Michael Contrades wrote in an email. “Approximately five years ago, a concerted effort was begun to find a suitable location for a new substation that could accommodate the needs of the district.”
The substation, and the officers assigned there, received a boost earlier this year, when the county secured an agreement with the state Department of Defense to use a 900-square-foot office space at the Kapaa Armory in exchange for maintaining the grounds and performing general maintenance.
But that agreement is scheduled to expire in February 2016.
To address the burgeoning demand for police services at the Kapaa substation, Kauai Police Department officials say they are now working with a consultant to kickstart the planning and design phase for a permanent substation.
The $83,910 contract was awarded to Honolulu-based consulting firm Architects Hawaii Limited, according to a Oct. 14 letter addressed from Budgeting and Purchasing Director Ernest Barreira to company principal Charles Chan.
Contrades said company consultants are charged with conducting a study that assesses the needs of the department and plan to meet with KPD officials in early December.
A new substation location, he said, is among the issues the study will tackle.
The need for a new substation is particularly important because KPD’s Kawaihau district, consisting of Wailua, Kapaa, Kealia and Anahola, “is the largest residential district with the most calls for service,” Contrades said.
A new station, he said, would also allow the community in the Kawaihau District to file reports or seek police services without having to drive to Lihue.
“Although KPD has moved into the Kapaa Armory temporarily, we will need a permanent location to service the Kawaihau District,” Contrades wrote. “As part of accreditation requirements, KPD needs to provide adequate workspace for personnel. Operationally, a new substation will allow our personnel to stay within the district when arrests are made.”
• Darin Moriki, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0428 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @darinmoriki.