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Conference aims to address crime in Waikiki, other tourist districts

Allison Schaefers

A conference on improving safety in Waikiki is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Prince Waikiki Hotel.

The Visitor Public Safety Conference is modeled after a similar conference held last year. The inaugural summit was a response to heightened concerns following several high-profile Waikiki crimes at the end of 2o17, including a violent attack on military personnel that resulted in a death.

Crime is a hot topic at Waikiki Neighborhood Board meetings. It’s also a key focus of the state’s visitor industry, which depends on Hawaii’s reputation as a safe destination. That’s why Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Waikiki Improvement Association, the Waikiki Business Improvement District Association, and the Hawaii Hotel Visitor Industry Security Association are partnering to put on the second annual crime conference.

Ideas from last year’s conference formed the basis for the Waikiki public safety package that Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell rolled out last month, said HLTA President and CEO Mufi Hannemann.

“We think government heard us loud and clear last year,” Hannemann said.

This year’s conference aims to bring together law enforcement and public safety agencies, the military, social service groups, and business groups to explore public safety challenges and recommend solutions, he said.

Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard and Deputy Chief John McCarthy will provide the keynote speech for the event.

The event is free to members of participating organizations. For more information, contact HLTA at 923-0407 or email jhigashi@hawaiilodging.org.

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