By Zahid Arab – bio | email
KALIHI (KHNL) – Concerns of serious crimes committed in a Kalihi neighborhood were the center of a special community meeting Tuesday night.
Community leaders, along with TV star Duane “Dog” Chapman focused on the fear and frustration felt by area residents.
it’s been an emotional few weeks for kalihi residents, but crime has plagued the area for years. and while a violent murder just happened, experts say it’s not time to be afraid, it’s time to be vigilant.
If you could hear safety, it would sound like Derek Salis’ stick.
“Every time I pound the ground, it’s to let the devil know we are around,” said Kamehameha Homes resident Derek Salis.
He’s the Kamehameha Homes crime fighter
“They call me uncle with the white dog,” said Salis.
He was given two years to live after a brain tumor, he’s now healthy as ever, thanks to his faith and an important purpose.
“I was sent here for a reason to make peace,” said Salis.
He patrols the property 2-3 times a day with his sidekick Kaipo. The recent murder of 18-year-old Iris Rodrigues-Kaikana is what makes community members at the special meeting say enough is enough.
“The resentment will destroy us,” said a Kalihi resident.
Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife Beth are also trying to take a bite out of this crime.
“We need cops in our neighborhood that we can call by their first name that we can get to know,” said Bounty Hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman.
They tell the crowd of mostly women, not to be afraid, but to be armed with anything to capture wrong-doing.
“Cameras, snapshots, video, pencils, paper,” said Bounty Hunter Beth Chapman.
Salis has been jumped, people have even beaten up his dog. But, like all residents at the meeting are advised to do, Salis and Kaipo give each other strength to make their community safer.
“I get frustrated and don’t want to do anything, just sit on my chair. But, nope. This guy wakes me up let’s go,” said Salis.
A retired Honolulu Police Department sergeant will spearhead the formation of a new community policing program in the area. As an officer, he helped cut down the crime rate. Now, residents hope he’ll have that same impact.