Police patrol beaches and parks to limit group gatherings

HONOLULU (KHON2) – The holiday weekend warning was clear, avoids large gatherings and prevents the spread of COVID.

Police officers in force patrolled the parks and beaches to ensure that gatherings were restricted.

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The police presence was noticeable during the Labor Day long weekend, and it was not the sight of previous holiday weekends. The gatherings at Ala Moana Beach Park were smaller and people were quite far apart.

“There are a lot less people than I thought,” said Jamie Ernestberg, a resident of Honolulu. “I thought there would be a lot more people here or even with the restrictions, smaller groups at least. But it looks rather cold.

On motorcycles or on foot, police said they were instructed to monitor the size of the groups.

Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people. Those who break the rules could be fined $ 250.

The Hawaii State Fusion Center is a branch of the state defense ministry. Hawaii Office of Homeland Security administrator Frank Pace said the role of the HSFC is to collect information from the public, analyze it and share it with law enforcement agencies.

“The Hawaii State Fusion Center has received approximately 10 tips related to potential violations of assembly restrictions here in the state,” Pace said. “The main locations of these were beach parks at other public lands, and parking lots at shopping malls, etc.”

In this case, the HSFC collected reports of violations of emergency orders.

Pace said, “We believe that what is sent to us is legitimate in nature and has the potential to be a violation.”

County mayors and the governor cracked down on law enforcement after large beach parties were reported a week ago.

“It’s not too crowded,” said Chris Simpson, a Honolulu resident. “Seems like everyone’s complying and they don’t have big gatherings. Which is great, because if everyone follows the rules I think the number of cases will go down. “

Police officers also patrolled popular Waikiki beaches, but one officer said they did not hand out many tickets related to group size violations.

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“I think they gave a big warning ahead of this weekend,” said Hawaii resident Taylor Otte. “So that sort of thing got everyone thinking about their plans and making sure they were following the rules properly.”

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Sara H. Byrd

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