Though police, Liquor Control officials and property owners all say the crime situation in KiheiKalama Villages (KKV) has gotten better in the last month, it seems like no one really wants to take responsibility for the area as a whole.
A full 45 of the 75 minutes of the July 11, 2007 Liquor Commission hearing dealt with KKV. And amazingly enough, most of the news was good.
“I can say there has a been a drop in criminal activity in that area,”Bill Pacheco, the LC’s chief enforcement officer, told the commission. “[But there’s] still a lot of activity going on.”
Though Maui Police Sergeant Mervin Ching told the commission that “our cases have dropped considerably,” he said his officers are still responding to “many assault cases, disorderly cases, stemming from the area.”
The KKV property owner and various licensees told the commission they were thrilled that MPD cars regularly drive through the KKV parking lot, but Ching said showing uniforms in the area wasn’t their job because KKV is private property.
“Police shouldn’t be driving through there,” he said. “It’s not our responsibility to take care of problems there.”
Instead, Ching asked the LCto raise enforcement officer salaries to attract more people, and also send more enforcement personnel on parking lot patrols. “In the parking lot a drunk is the same as being an inside drunk,”Ching said.
Commissioner Ron McOmber bristled at the suggestion. “No, I disagree,”he said, adding that using LCofficers as “civil police”is “way outside”their job description. Then he recommended that MPD go to the county for more money to hire more cops, which made Ching bristle.
In the meantime, KKV’s owners hired a private security firm, which now sends six uniformed guards on patrols every night, and that seems to have done the trick. But what the LCwill do next is impossible to say:commissioners accidentally adjourned their July 11 hearing before deciding to do anything about KKV, and now they will have to wait until their September hearing before getting another update.