Waikiki Magazine - - ILOVE WAIKIKI -

used her lanai or ven­tured into the park, which had been over­taken by drug deal­ers, home­less peo­ple and crim­i­nals. Nearby busi­nesses, such as the Hil­ton Waikiki Beach on Kuhio, were con­cerned with its con­di­tion, too.

The once-derelict park has come full-cir­cle thanks to sup­port from com­mu­nity res­i­dents, nearby busi­nesses, and Honolulu Po­lice Depart­ment of­fi­cers as­signed to the nearby Waikiki po­lice sub­sta­tion, which has been on Kuhio beach since the mid 1980s.

“I made lots of po­lice calls for ser­vice,” Young says.

Amaz­ingly Young’s com­plaints stood out among the 14,321 calls for ser­vice that were han­dled by Waikiki po­lice last year. The depart­ment’s com­mu­nity polic­ing team quickly or­ga­nized a park turn­around.

Waikiki Ma­jor Cary Oki­moto, who was only 26 when he did his first stint in Waikiki, says he re­mem­bers that the sub­sta­tion opened in the mid 1980s af­ter the com­mu­nity lob­bied for a 24/7 po­lice pres­ence. While it might seem un­usual to some that a roughly twom­ile neigh­bor­hood needs its own po­lice sta­tion, Oki­moto says Waikiki is unique be­cause of the mix of res­i­dents, tourists, busi­ness peo­ple and crim­i­nals that it at­tracts.

“From a polic­ing stand­point, I feel that peo­ple who com­mit crimes are al­ways go­ing to go to where they think the pay­offs are the big­gest,” he says. “When you have tourists who don’t know their way around or don’t speak the lan­guage, they can more eas­ily fall vic­tim.”

Waikiki is au­tho­rized 12 beat of­fi­cers, a bike de­tail, and a crime re­duc­tion unit made up of plain­clothes of­fi­cers, Oki­moto says. In the

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