comscore State, counties spend at least $7.7 million on law enforcement for Thirty Meter Telescope protest | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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State, counties spend at least $7.7 million on law enforcement for Thirty Meter Telescope protest

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / July 15
                                Hawaii Police Department officers arrive at Daniel K. Inouye Highway on Mauna Kea in July. The total cost of law enforcement to the state and counties is more than $7.7 million even before one key state agency has disclosed its costs.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / July 15

    Hawaii Police Department officers arrive at Daniel K. Inouye Highway on Mauna Kea in July. The total cost of law enforcement to the state and counties is more than $7.7 million even before one key state agency has disclosed its costs.

The state and counties have spent at least $7.7 million on law enforcement costs related to the Thirty Meter Telescope standoff on Mauna Kea that began in mid-July.

That figure includes new cost information released by the Hawaii Attorney General’s office today, as well as prior amounts disclosed by the counties.

Still missing is any cost information from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Officers from DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement have maintained an ongoing presence on the mountain since the conflict began.

The total costs to date are sure to be significantly higher than what’s been released as the figures only go through the end of August or mid-September.

The Attorney General’s office said today that it’s cost $985,000 through Aug. 30 for the Hawaii National Guard. Dozens of officers have helped staff a checkpoint and assisted law enforcement with transportation and personnel.

The office also disclosed that the state Public Safety Department, which oversees the state sheriff’s division, has spent $558,000 through Aug. 15.

The Attorney General’s office has expended another $1.5 million through Sept. 6.

Meanwhile, Hawaii County has spent more than $4.4 million on TMT-related costs, most of it on overtime for police officers, according to updated figures released by the county Tuesday.

The Honolulu and Maui County police departments spent about $260,000 combined in overtime, travel and vehicle shipping.

Earlier this year, the state budgeted $15 million to be used for TMT-related costs. The funding, allocated during this year’s legislative session that ended in May was transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Attorney General’s Community Safety Program trust fund, according to the governor’s office.

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