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Honolulu mayor revitalizes plan for Chinatown safety

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced $647,000 in funding for city and community agencies to utilize in improving Oahu’s Chinatown. 

The allocated funding prioritizes crime and the homeless population as its top priorities. This continues an effort started two years ago to revitalize the neighborhood, cited in Blangiardi’s state of the address in March 2021.

“I like the progress that we have made to date in Chinatown. But we are nowhere near where we want to be,” Blangiardi said in a recent press conference. 

Director of Honolulu’s department of community services Anton Krucky told KITV4 that they will be opening up a medical unit as well as another unit at Hawaii Homeless Healthcare Hui, an organization that provides care services on the outskirts of Chinatown. 

“We’re in a rare time because of the federal funding that has flowed our way. So now is the time to take advantage of those capital funds. To build facilities, to build beds,” Krucky said. 

The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) is continuing to add four to five patrols per week as part of the Chinatown Task Force, which has helped curb illegal activity according to the HPD

While police usually respond first to an incident, Crisis, Outreach, Response and Engagement, can help with crisis intervention, HPD Police Chief Joe Logan said to the media. The unit can deploy social workers, EMTs and community health workers,

Neighborhood Board 13 Chair Ernest Caravalho attributes the involvement in the community to creating better outcomes for Chinatown, according to KITV4. 

“No matter what our politicians do, no matter what our police do, nothing will change unless the community can come forward and get up and move forward to clean up their city,” Caravalho said.

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