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Friday, April 18, 2014         

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Home alarm registration helps reduce false alarms

By June Watanabe

POSTED:



Question: I paid $5 for my annual home alarm registration renewal and sent it to the Honolulu Police Department's Alarm Tracking and Billing Unit. How does HPD use this money?

Answer: Registration fees go into the city's general fund, then are used to help staff the alarm tracking unit, said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu.

Since 2002, when the city began requiring registration as a means of reducing the number of false alarms, 52,000 permits have been issued.

About 39,440 registrations are on file, Yu said.

During the past fiscal year, which ended June 30, $87,225 was collected ($15 for first-time registration and $5 for annual renewals).

Prior to setting up the alarm tracking unit and requiring registration, there was an average of about 33,000 security alarm calls a year, Yu said.

About 98 percent were false alarms.

The percentage of false alarms is believed to still be around 98 percent, she said, but the number of total calls has dropped significantly, which means "we've (also) reduced the total number of false alarms."

In 2010, for example, there were about 26,000 total alarm calls, a decrease of 21 percent.

Registration allows HPD to have a database with which to hold owners accountable for their security systems.

Failure to register would result in a $100 fine. Each registrant gets up to three "free" false alarms a year. The fourth would trigger a $50 "service charge," which would be waived if the owner attends an HPD alarm class. After that, each ensuing false alarm would incur a $50 charge.

For more information, go to www.honolulupd.org/info/burglaralarms.htm.

Question: Did the boa constrictor found in Waiawa get X-rayed? Was it found to have given birth?

Answer: The 9-foot-3-inch snake has not been X-rayed and will not be X-rayed.

That's because an X-ray would not indicate whether the female snake has ever given birth. The concern was that it may have had babies in the wild here.

An X-ray would only show if the snake is pregnant, which is not a problem now because it is in captivity, noted Ben Okimoto, the Honolulu Zoo's veterinarian.

It also would have been difficult to X-ray the boa, because of its size and strength.

The snake was captured by pig hunters in Waiawa Gulch the night of July 4. It is being held at the state Department of Agriculture's Plant Quarantine Branch, awaiting shipment with other reptiles to an as-yet undetermined location, said spokeswoman Janelle Saneishi.

"It depends on the type of animal that determines where it goes to," she said.

Even if the Honolulu Zoo wanted the boa constrictor, it isn't allowed to keep any female snakes, Okimoto said.

AUWE

To the man who bullied me for 15 minutes for my table at Kakaako Waterfront Park on Saturday afternoon, July 9. I told you "no" a dozen times I wasn't leaving and then "no," I didn't want to share the table with your group. You said it was a waste of a table for one person when you had a whole bunch of people with you. If you want a table on the weekend, come early like everyone else. Second option, sit on the grass. You set a bad example for the toddler with you. -- 76-year-old Senior Who Resists Bullies

MAHALO

To two good Samaritans who returned my driver's license and checkbook when it was lost in the Waipio area on July 18. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and quick actions! -- J. Sumida, Mililani






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