Honolulu police want to use surveillance cameras to monitor traffic, threats during APEC meeting

HONOLULU --

The Honolulu Police Department wants to use existing city traffic cameras and new surveillance cameras to monitor traffic and threats during Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in November.

HPD wants the Honolulu City Council to grant it the authority to add more surveillance video cameras. The cameras will likely go in areas where the delegations from the various countries will be staying and meeting while on Oahu.

“Hilton and Sheraton, places like that, and maybe the routes the convoys will be taking they will probably add some cameras to those,” surmised Waikiki resident Bob Finley.

Cameras are already in place on Kalakaua, but not on Kuhio which the Waikiki Neighborhood Board has been long been advocating to protect residents and tourists.

“The Hawaii Tourism Authority agreed with us and decided to pay for this effort, the city agreed to do the connectivity, and the Waikiki Business Improvement group agreed to pay for the people to sit there and monitor,” said Finley who is the board chairman.

But it has been a two years wait, and maybe with APEC as a priority Waikiki will finally get more coverage. The Honolulu City Council's safety committee takes up HPD's request next week.

“We are already using these cameras in places like Waikiki, downtown Honolulu and Chinatown where they have been effective with the crimes that have been taken place. I think this will be another tool to be able to use the ensure the safety and security of this event,” said committee chairwoman Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard.

HPD wouldn’t say how many cameras would be added, how much the project would cost or how soon they would be installed.

“They will be adding some and the funding for that will be for APEC funding that has been budgeted or other things that have been funded previously,” said Gabbard.

But HPD wants to go a step further-- getting control of the other city "eyes on the road."

“Its taking the resources that we have and using them for this purpose for example the traffic cameras, as an added way for the security folks to have eyes on the world leader who will be here for the event.” Gabbard said.

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