Tackling drug houses

LIHUE — The County of Kauai Office of the Prosecuting Attorney was selected to receive a $130,100 grant to establish a Drug Nuisance Abatement Unit.

The funds are provided by the U.S. Department of Justice and administered via a competitive grant process by the State of Hawaii Department of the Attorney General Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division.

The grant will provide for investigative and clerical resources to assist the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in building and prosecuting nuisance abatement cases to close down drug houses in the Kauai community in the upcoming year.

“The No. 1 complaint I receive from our citizens is that law enforcement does not act swiftly enough to address the longstanding problem of drug houses in our neighborhoods,” said Justin Kollar, prosecuting attorney. “This will be a big step towards addressing that. We are grateful to our partner agencies for providing these vital resources and we are serious about addressing these important quality of life concerns in our neighborhoods.”

The Drug Nuisance Abatement Unit will consist of investigative, clerical and attorney resources and will focus on using state nuisance abatement laws to seek injunctions to close down houses where drug trafficking type behavior is taking place.

“Chapter 712 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes gives us the power to go quickly and directly after the tenants, landlords, or owners of these houses and require them to take care of the problem or face eviction, contempt charges, financial liens, or more serious consequences,” Kollar said.

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