HONOLULU — Honolulu is funding two private security guards to patrol city parks, aiming to curb illegal homeless activity.
The city is paying $44,000 for a one-month pilot program for two guards from Hawaii Protective Association to watch the nine parks in the urban core around the clock, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he hopes the patrols will help reduce the number of homeless-related complaints.
“No one group has a right to our public spaces,” Caldwell said. “People demand that they be safe in our parks and on our streets.”
The security guards will rotate among Aala Park, Ala Wai Community Park, Ala Wai Neighborhood Park, Crane Community Park, Kamamalu Neighborhood Park, Moiliili Neighborhood Park, Mother Waldron Neighborhood Park, Old Stadium Park, and Pawa?a In-Ha Park.
The security guards will be accompanied by ongoing social service assistance that aims to get more people off the streets, said Marc Alexander, executive director of the city’s Office of Housing.
The outreach efforts are on track get more than 4,300 people housed this year, Alexander said.
The city hired private security guards earlier this year to lock bathrooms and gates at night at all 41 parks across the island after more than 600 vandalism acts were recorded in city parks in three years.