DLNR RESPONSE TO LRAD QUESTIONS
News Release from DLNR, June 27, 2019
Long Range Acoustic Device systems are currently used in 72 countries and in more than 400 U.S. cities, counties, and states to ensure public safety communications and emergency warnings are clearly heard and understood.
DOCARE officers are often called upon in their roles as State Law Enforcement Officers to provide warnings in emergency situations for public safety purposes.
At today’s news conference, several speakers indicated that officers serving with the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) do not have full police powers. Please review Hawaii Revised Statutes HRS-199-4 and HRS-199-3. Specifically see the first paragraph in HRS-199-4. DOCARE Officers are sworn to uphold all the laws of the State of Hawai‘i and its counties with full police powers and will conduct all other duties as assigned.
Over the past year, DOCARE officers have had the responsibility of warning large groups of people of impending hurricanes and the Kilauea eruption in Puna.
DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) purchased a 100x portable battery powered public address and hailing system kit from LRAD Corporation this year.
The LRAD Corp. states: “The system purchased by the Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources is used for public address and emergency notifications. LRAD is not a ‘sound cannon.’ The LRAD 100X system has been used by local law enforcement agencies to broadcast evacuation notices; for instance during wildfires in Colorado last year.
The public address and hailing system is not a weapon and is not listed in DOCARE’s use of force continuum.
The assertion that DOCARE utilized an LRAD in association with protests on Maui’s Haleakala several years ago is completely false.
The purchase of a portable battery powered public address and hailing system kit by DOCARE was done following state procurement rules and is a matter of public record.
This was in no way a “secret purchase” as alleged by Kahea. Kahea made two open records requests, to which DOCARE responded in full.
The recent television report depicted a completely different model with different capabilities and was not an accurate depiction of the device acquired by DLNR/DOCARE. We note that the 100X is the smallest such system offered by LRAD.
We understand and acknowledge the concerns raised regarding use of excessive force on nonviolent noncombatants. The LRAD system purchased by DOCARE is not intended to be used in that way. The LRAD is a legitimate useful tool for law enforcement in appropriate situations in compliance with law and standard use of force policy.
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Press Release for Kū Kiaʻi Mauna Press Conference on Friday, June 28th
News Release from KAHEA, Jun 26, 2019
HONOLULU, HAWAII - On Friday, June 28th, protectors of Mauna Kea will hold a press conference before the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) board meeting, its first public meeting scheduled since it authorized the removal of two hale and two ahu from Mauna Kea on Thursday, June 20th. In response to state actions, the protectors will speak about the significance of the hale and ahu and the concerns they have with the potential uses of excessive force in upcoming actions.
Those scheduled to speak at the press conference include Kealoha Pisciotta (Mauna Kea Anaina Hou), Billy Freitas (practitioner of uhau humu pōhaku, stone wall masonry), Davianna McGregor (Kanaka Maoli scholar), Noelani Ahia (Haleakalā protector), Shelley Muneoka (KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance), and Lance Collins (attorney representing KAHEA). Speakers will address the serious problems raised by the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), implications of the failure to protect natural resources, the violation of Native Hawaiian customary and traditional practices, and DLNR’s recently purchased Long-Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), also called a sound cannon, which has been used for crowd control at confrontations with water protectors at Standing Rock and potentially violates state and federal laws.
Shortly after the removal of the hale and ahu, Governor Ige, Attorney General Clare Connors, Department of Land and Natural Resources Director Suzanne Case, and UH President David Lassner held a press conference on the state’s action, maintaining that these were “unauthorized structures.” AG Connors further stated that “The two structures at the summit were reviewed by the Hawai’i Supreme Court as well as the board. They were determined not to bear any traditional customary significance.” Protectors, however, insist that the two ahu at the summit and the hale located near Hale Pōhaku were built in ceremony to honor the sacred mountain and to serve as a site of religious observance and practice for Native Hawaiians.
On June 24th, 2015, TMT construction crews, escorted by Hawaiʻi County and State DOCARE officers, attempted to make their way to the summit of Mauna Kea, but were stopped at Hale Pōhaku by protectors. Offering ti leaf lei to the crews and their escorts for protection and chanting in ceremony, the protectors stood in lines across the Access Road to safeguard the mountain from the construction of the TMT. The proposed TMT would excavate five acres, 20 feet into the earth, removing 66,000 cubic yards of the sacred mountain— the equivalent of 1,782,000 cubic feet of earth.
Candace Fujikane, Boardmember, KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance