West End Security Concerns Addressed
Residents of Molokai’s west end say they have been experiencing some troubling issues lately. Reports of hunting in close proximity to residences, leaving rubbish on others’ property and vehicles damaging private land and sensitive beach environments are just a few of the complaints.
“We’ve heard stories of illegal hunting taking place dangerously close to homes and stray bullets coming unbelievably close to residents’ homes and that is unacceptable,” said Dathan Bicoy, operations manager for Molokai Ranch, a neighboring land owner. “The greatest concern for Molokai Ranch is the safety of residents.”
To address these concerns, Molokai Ranch, Ke Nani Kai Condominium Association, Paniolo Hale Condominium Association, Kepuhi Beach Condominium Association, West Molokai Association (WMA), Molokai Police Department (MPD) and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) have been working together over the last few months, according to Molokai Ranch Project Manager Nancy Schmicker. Representatives of these organizations have held several meetings and “recognize that a long-term solution is needed and will be working with community members to develop a plan of action that satisfies everyone’s needs and, most importantly, keeps residents safe,” said Schmicker.
As a result, the MPD has developed a strategy to effectively increase west end patrols. DLNR officers will also be monitoring the beach and ocean areas to decrease abuse of resources, according to Schmicker. Both MPD and DLNR officers are authorized to make arrests if they see laws being violated.
“Molokai Ranch will continue to work with the WMA to stem the illegal activities on private property, which, in the short term, may result in an increase in citizen’s arrests and citations if laws are broken on the west end,” said Schmicker.
“All of us in the island community must work together to protect the environment as well as the peaceful enjoyment of the beaches by everyone,” said Jeff Kent, manager of Kepuhi Beach. “Litter, vehicle damage and drunkenness are not aloha.”
Schmicker said the organizations plan to continue meetings to find long-term resolution to the concerns.
“In the long-term we hope to create a solution for all residents, to allow access to safe hunting areas and for beach-goers to have a way to get to the beach without damaging private property,” said Bicoy. “If we can all work together and respect each other, we can create a solution that works for everyone.”