Private security will handle patrolling Honolulu’s future rail line | Techno Glob


Once Honolulu’s rail transit service opens, city officials will rely on private security personnel to handle patrols of the system’s stations, platforms and driverless trains. He has also hired a key local law enforcement figure to help oversee that operation.

Allied Security, a private company contracted by the city, will handle those transit patrols, according to Roger Morton, director of the Honolulu Department of Transportation Services.

Some 10 Allied personnel will patrol the first 10 miles and nine stations after that portion of the system opens, according to DTS. Morton said the plan is to add more security personnel as more stations open.

Aloha Stadium Railway Station Entrance with Holo Card Reader.
Under a city contract, private security will patrol the Honolulu Rail Line and its stations at Aloha Stadium. Corey Lum/Civil Beat/2020

The city considered whether to use Honolulu Police Department officers for those patrols instead, but opted to go with private security, he added. The approach makes sense because the military could be based at the rail line’s operations center in Waipahu, he said.

“That was the priority for HPD as well,” Morton added.

According to DTS, private guards will not carry firearms, tasers or batons.

HPD will still respond to incidents on Oahu’s future fixed rail system in response to those safety patrol requests, Morton said.

Thomas Iu, a former special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency who oversaw private patrol operations on behalf of the city, was the former head of security for Hawaiian Airlines, who later accused the company of widespread wrongdoing in a lawsuit that ended in both cases. Served as Honolulu’s police chief in 2009 and 2017.

Aiu also appeared regularly on Hawaii News Now as a law enforcement expert, providing analysis and commentary for related stories. According to HNN news director Scott Duff, the news outlet stopped using him in March after he reapplied to be Honolulu’s police chief. Aiu said in a text Wednesday that he “has chosen not to remain in that role” with the outlet because of his new city management position.

HNN resumed using him on Sunday, however, when he was quoted in an HNN story as a law enforcement expert. The outlet did not identify him as a city employee.

AIU now serves as the manager of emergency and security systems in DTS’s newly created Office of Safety and Security, according to Morton.

Allied has a two-year contract with the city worth about $2.6 million, according to DTS.

Former US Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Thomas Iu has been hired by the city to oversee security on the Honolulu rail line. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat/2017

In addition to Allied and HPD, there will be a group of Hitachi Rail Honolulu employees who will serve as “ambassadors” along the rail line, similar to the green fluorescent shirt-wearing Aloha Ambassadors in Waikiki. These Hitachi employees will serve as additional “eyes and ears,” Morton said.

The exact model for how to handle security in a transit system varies from place to place and often depends on how large the area is and how many jurisdictions the transit system passes through, Morton said.

For example, New York City has a Transit Bureau division of the New York Police Department that patrols the city’s subways and rail lines. Morton said Honolulu considered establishing a similar transit division for HPD during the rail’s planning stages but ultimately declined. Such an approach makes more sense for New York, with thousands of miles of transit routes and millions of daily riders, he said.

It is not yet clear when the first section of Honolulu’s rail line will open. City officials recently pegged 2023 as the start of passenger service. However, the system still needs to clear the test phase, and it remains to be seen how extensive repairs to the extensive “shear” cracking found on the piers supporting many of the western stations will be – and whether this will cause further delays. .



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