Law enforcement officials say crime in the Kalihi-Palama-Chinatown Weed and Seed area has declined sharply since the programs start in 1998.
Serious felonies, such as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, theft, burglary and auto theft, have decreased 75 percent from 1997 to 2000. During that time, reported serious felonies in the area dropped from 3,041 to 746, officials said this week.
The results for other offenses including fraud, gambling, drugs, drunken driving, simple assault, embezzlement and disorderly conduct, dropped 69 percent from 7,686 reported offenses in 1997 to 2,346 in 2000.
U.S. Attorney Steve Alm, Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle and Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue said they credited the collaboration of area residents, businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, social service agencies, the federal and state courts and law enforcement for the dramatic reduction in crime.
In the Weed and Seed anti-crime program, police weed out criminals, and then social service agencies seed the area with revitalization programs.
"When everybody works together, the community is stronger and safer," the three said in a written statement. "The community has taken this area back and deserves a lot of the credit for this good news."
On Wednesday, a 37-year-old man prosecuted under Weed and Seed was sentenced in federal court to 15 years and eight months in prison for distributing crack cocaine in Aala Park.
U.S. District Judge David Ezra sentenced Maave Maave Jr. to the comparatively long term after determining that Maave was a repeat offender under federal sentencing guidelines.
Alm said Maave is the fifth Weed and Seed defendant sentenced to an extended term in the past year.
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