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Honolulu to use drones to enforce ‘stay-at-home’ order at local beaches

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A beach-monitoring drone deployed by the Honolulu Fire Department today.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A beach-monitoring drone deployed by the Honolulu Fire Department today.

  • ROB SHIKINA / 2019
                                The Honolulu Fire Department will deploy drones at three beaches to help enforce the city’s stay-at-home order.

    ROB SHIKINA / 2019

    The Honolulu Fire Department will deploy drones at three beaches to help enforce the city’s stay-at-home order.

The Honolulu Fire Department today will start using three drone-operation teams to help enforce Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s stay-at-home and work-at-home order at beaches around Oahu, city officials announced.

The teams will be stationed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at three beaches – Lanikai, Waikiki, and Sandy Beach. They will be at these beaches during those hours today, Saturday and Sunday, according to HFD.

The drones will be playing the audio message: “Aloha, the stay-at-home order is in effect. Please do not gather or sit on the beach. Water activities are permitted but please leave immediately after.”

City officials said the drones will not be equipped with any video-recording equipment, and will be used just to address the public.

Today’s development follows the announcement Thursday by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Honolulu police Chief Susan Ballard that HPD would be stepping up enforcement of the stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of coronavirus, including a pilot nightly curfew program over the three-day Easter weekend.

The American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern over the curfew plan and said they would be watching closely to see how the city implements and enforces the order.

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