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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 10, 2002

Fishermen to patrol Kailua boat ramp

By Eloise Aguiar
Windward OÎahu Writer

KAILUA — Police and fishermen have struck a bargain that will lead to beefed-up patrol of the Kailua Beach Park boat ramp where drinking, loud music and fights are common after dark.

A citizen's patrol will be formed to give police extra eyes and ears with the intension of discouraging questionable activity in the parking lot at the boat ramp.

Citizen's patrols are common and effective on O'ahu, where residents canvas their own neighborhoods and report suspicious activities to 911. But fishermen, who don't live near the ramp are taking on the responsibility to guarantee continued access to the boat ramp at all hours, said Aikahi resident David Goebert, a fisherman and a television production manager.

"The patrol in general is part of a compromise," Goebert said. "That isn't what we wanted. That's the solution given to us."

Other means to control problems have failed, including a parking ban at the ramp from 10 p.m to 5 a.m.

A recent request by Kailua police to install a lockable gate at the entrance to the parking lot was unacceptable to fishermen, who want early morning access to the ramp.

Residents and fishermen wanted more police patrol, but police said there wasn't enough manpower.

Fishermen suggested making the area subject to curfew and giving anyone there without a boat a ticket, Goebert said. No arrest would have to be made, and income would be generated.

"Weed them out," he said. "It worked for A'ala Park. Why not at the boat ramp?"

A citizen's patrol was recommended at a meeting held by the Kailua Neighborhood Board's Park and Recreation Committee attended by fishermen, police and neighbors.

"Any time the community gets involved, it's a better deal for us," said board member Duane Samson, who is also a Kailua police officer. "The fishermen decided they will do a citizen's patrol to help police curb chronic drinking and loud music."

Lynn Ranta, who lives across the street from the boat ramp, said problems have festered there for at least 20 years. Complaints to police bring only temporary relief because revelers return after the police are gone, said Ranta.

Ranta welcomes a patrol and offered her computer to hook up a surveillance camera with a direct link to the police station, if someone would pay for the necessary equipment.

"I can't afford the light or I would do that myself," she said, adding that a patrol is a good idea. "I would get involved."

The Honolulu Police Department provides training, equipment and continuous support for citizen's patrols, said police officer Herb Lau, with the District 4 Resources Unit. The groups are given T-shirts, flashlights and a cell phone.

Lau will conduct a citizen's patrol presentation that covers requirements and responsibilities at 7 p.m. Monday at Kalama Beach Park, Boettcher Estate, 248 N. Kalaheo Ave. Anyone interested in joining the patrol should attend.

With the continued complaints, everyone is looking for a workable solution, he said.

"The beach is for everybody to use but when it comes to a point where it's a nuisance to the surrounding residents the law has to step in or some kind of drastic measure has to be taken such as chaining it up."

Reach Eloise Aguiar at eaguiar@honoluluadvertiser.com