Added security costs HPD $100,000 a week
By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer
Overtime incurred as a result of heightened security since the start of the Iraq war 15 days ago is costing the Honolulu Police Department nearly $100,000 a week, an administrator said yesterday.
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Hawai'i remains at a "yellow-plus" level of alert, which means there is a significant risk of a terrorist attack.
HPD increased staffing at key security points at its headquarters when Hawai'i's alert status was increased March 19. However, officers were not staffing posts today around HPD's headquarters building and at the entrance to the public parking area.
"The key thing with homeland security and the threat level is we want to be unpredictable," said Assistant Chief Boisse Correa, HPD's counterterroism coordinator. "Sometimes we can be visible and other times we may be doing an operation where we're not as visible.
"Money is a consideration anytime you do an operation, but it's not the only factor," he added. "We're not going to let down on protection. What we're going through now is not going away. It's going to be a way of life so we do not want to get into patterns for security."
HPD has been training its officers for terrorism security for more than a year, Correa said.
"Our major concern is funding and we're looking at getting grants," Correa said. "We're trying to minimize costs with strategy and planning."
Yellow-plus is the fourth-highest security level in Hawai'i. Black, meaning under attack, is the highest.
The national color alert level does not include black, Correa said. Hawai'i's other elevated color levels are red (severe threat) and orange (high risk).