Hawaii to Install Security Cameras to Protect Visitors

HONOLULU

The Big Island County Council recently voted unanimously in favor of installing dozens of surveillance cameras in Waikiki and on the Big Island in an effort to reduce crimes against visitors. The Hawaii Tourism Authority will fund $500,000 of the project. Despite concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the council is moving forward with the installations, according to The Associated Press.

Hawaii County police Capt. Andrew Burian says possible locations for the cameras include the Kailua-Kona business district, Akaka Falls and downtown Hilo.

The ACLU of Hawaii is objecting to the cameras over privacy concerns. Laurie Temple, ACLU attorney, says the cameras divert taxpayer money away from measures proven to reduce crime, like community policing and hiring more police officers.

“We should not give in to the impulse to blanket our public spaces and streets with government video surveillance and turn our aloha state into a police state,” Temple says.

One of the concerns with the existing surveillance in Waikiki is that citizen volunteers have monitored the cameras instead of trained police officers. Temple says civilian monitors could abuse the system by using the cameras to stalk people.

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