Maui County Police Update

By Marie Nowell

The Maui County Police Commission made its first appearance on Molokai since a resident attempted a citizen’s arrest on an officer five years ago.

This year’s meeting went notably smoother. Molokai resident Bill Feeter addressed his concerns to the board regarding substance abuse, domestic abuse, abandoned cars, the Power Plant, the County Park Ranger, animal control, Father Damien canonization plans, poaching, and jet ski regulations.

“The police department is very proactive in working towards the drug problem,” said Chief Thomas Phillips. He explained that the Molokai Police Department is well aware of the reoccurring issues of drug, alcohol and domestic violence, which have been concerns for the past 25-30 years.

District Commanders reported on bureau highlights for the month of September. A total number of 28,929 reports were processed last month, ranging from traffic reports to arrests made throughout Maui County.

As a part of “Green Harvest”, a two-day marijuana eradication mission was conducted.
This covered areas from Kanaio to Hana, resulting in the eradication of 1,634 marijuana plants, as well as West Maui where 807 plants were targeted. A total of 2,441 plants were destroyed, weighing 209 pounds.

No immediate plans are in effect for Molokai’s police budget. Long-term plans include updating and getting new facilities. Molokai police are in need of a new station, but depending on the economy, plans will not progress until years down the road.

Lani Caparida, former Community Police Officer on Molokai, has been transferred to the narcotics department and is working on Maui. Lonnie Ka`ai is the new Community Police officer, who has resided on Molokai now for 2 years. Chief Phillips asks Molokai residents to “work with police, having a partnership to help resolve issues.”

Police Commission meetings are being held every 3rd Wednesday in Wailuku, Maui. The commission board is visiting Molokai, Lanai, and Hana, Maui annually.


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