Letters for Oct. 8, 2016

• Build KPD a substation outside the flood zone

Build KPD a substation outside the flood zone

Director of Parks and Recreation Leonard Rapozo has equated the educational and recreational uses of the Kapaa Neighborhood Center with the emergency and law enforcement activities of the KPD. That is an error.

The Kapaa KPD substation, currently and temporarily located at the old Kapaa Armory, is more than a few desks used for officers to write reports. It is a hub for KPD communications and a secure storage facility for emergency supplies, weapons, and ammunition.

In the event of an emergency it also acts as a local command and control center. Locating this facility anywhere in the Tsunami or Hurricane Storm Surge Flood Zone, particularly right on the shore, is a mistake.

A tsunami at sea can travel at speeds over 600 miles per hour — faster than a commercial jet. An earthquake on the west end of Oahu could result in a tsunami hitting Kapaa in under eight minutes. That is not nearly enough time to relocate KPD command and control facilities — so the first casualty of such a tsunami wave or a similar Hurricane Storm Surge would be to wipe out the local first responders command center, destroy their communications, and limit their access to emergency supplies. If any suspects are being held at that facility prior to being transferred to the jail in Lihue, it would effectively doom them as well.

Would a tsunami wave threaten civilians using the Kapaa Neighborhood Center at the current location — yes, it would. There could be potential loss of life or serious injuries to whomever could not evacuate the facility, or the rest of downtown Kapaa, in time. But with a KPD substation located outside of the tsunami or Hurricane Storm Surge Flood Zone, as KPD Chief Perry has previously requested, the emergency capabilities of the first responders would remain intact.

I believe the armory has great potential as a sports complex in Kapaa for our youth and our growing community. But the best way to attain this goal is to first build the KPD a local substation outside the flood zone, then convert the armory to a sports complex and leave the Kapaa Neighborhood Center alone.

Thank you again for your coverage and your commitment to our community.

Bill Peterson, Kapaa

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