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City reports crime is down in Chinatown, ramps up additional enforcement efforts

Office of Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi

The City and County of Honolulu continues to ramp up police enforcement within Chinatown.

On Wednesday, Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced nearly $650,000 in additional funding to continue the Honolulu Police Department’s Chinatown Task Force. This money will continue the program through the end of this calendar year.

“When we took office two years ago, I was outraged by the level of dangerous, illegal activity in Chinatown and knew immediately that the situation was unsafe and unacceptable,” Blangiardi said.

During the Wednesday press conference, HPD Deputy Chief Keith Horikawa reported the task force has reduced crime in the past year. Miscellaneous reported crimes are down 64% and drug-related crimes are down 55%.

Between April and the end of December 2022, the Chinatown Task Force made 1,330 outreach-based referrals, gave 7,631 warnings, issued 5,288 citations and made 73 arrests.

The task force started as a COVID-prevention program in 2021, and has transitioned to address crime and homelessness in the area.

Horikawa said more than 500 homeless individuals have been referred services.

The funding, which comes from state and local pandemic-related coffers, will also increase officer presence and patrol on the streets.

Sabrina Bodon was Hawaiʻi Public Radio's government reporter.
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