No HI-EMA tapes exist, state says

HONOLULU — State Rep. Gene Ward wanted Gov. David Ige to release “security tapes” from the morning of Jan. 13 when the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency issued a false missile attack alert, but a spokesman for the agency says there are no such audio or video recordings.

Ward (R-Oahu) acknowledged he was unsure whether security tapes even existed, but on Jan. 25 he issued a public statement urging Ige to release recordings of the events that day in the HI-EMA facility.


“The people of Hawaii deserve to see the events that led to those frightful thirty-eight minutes,” Ward wrote. “For security reasons, faces can easily be blurred.”

HI-EMA issued a statewide cellphone alert Jan. 13 warning of an incoming ballistic missile, which caused public panic, and took 38 minutes to cancel the false alarm.

“Even the 7-Eleven stores have a total footage of everything that’s going on,” Ward said in an interview. “Any office of that importance, that is security-based, would have that. As for its own operations and/or a breach of security or a breach of protocol, I believe it would be a common technological part of their establishment.”

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser filed a formal request under the state’s Uniform Information Practices Act for video or audio recordings of events in the HI-EMA operations facility that morning, but HI-EMA spokesman Lt. Col. Chuck Anthony said no such recordings exist.


Anthony said the security cameras at HI-EMA’s Birkhimer Tunnel are facing outward and are used to see who is approaching the facility, not to watch employees perform their duties.

While 7-Elevens and gas stations do routinely use cameras to record video, that is for security purposes and not to look at the employees, he said.

  1. Big ideas February 6, 2018 6:41 am Reply

    State Rep. Gene Ward needs to ask for the audio tapes from the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Emergency Management Center and the Honolulu EMC / E911 to track down the initial conversations and timelines of what was said by authorities concerning this massive screw up.

  2. Buds4All February 6, 2018 6:54 am Reply

    Translation = It exists and we know what is best for you. Shut up sit down or we will call another false alarm and make you poop in your pants!

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