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MPD: Police sent to Mauna Kea accumulate $68,105 in overtime

PC: Tracie Takatani

Are Hawaii taxpayers slated to foot the bill when it comes to law enforcement presence on Mauna Kea? 
Police officers from Maui County and O’ahu were flown into Hawai’i Island between July 16th to the 23rd. Honolulu Police have not yet released how much was spent. But Maui Police says officers accumulated a total of $68,105 in overtime.

During Thursday’s council meeting, MPD Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu testified the state is reimbursing the county to cover overtime expenses.

Sending police off island didn’t sit well with some public testifiers.

“Why are we sending people to the Big Island when we can’t even handle our own stuff over here. Lahaina is getting screwed,” said Maui resident Junya Nakoa.

Meanwhile, Hawaii County released costs its tallied so far. Since July 1st, law enforcement wages related to overtime are up to $236,000.

On Wednesday, Hawaii Island residents sounded off at a city council finance committee urging councilmembers reveal how county funds are being spent on Mauna Kea.

“I think it’s very important that we know where the county money is going especially if it can be better spent like lava aid and things like that,” said Shelley Mahi.

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