November 23, 2018
Honolulu Police Officer Ryan Yamamoto briefs Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1 about how to stay safe while off duty during a safety stand-down, Nov. 15.
Story and photo by MC2 Charles Oki
Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
Officers from the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) spoke to Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 as part of a holiday safety stand down at the Ford Island Conference Center on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Nov. 15.
The HPD officers spoke about off-duty safety on the island of Oahu as well as local laws that might be different compared to the continental United States.
According to Officer Chris Siangco, a member of the Community Policing Team for Waikiki, one of the biggest issues facing residents, tourists, and service members is property crimes with reports of more than 13,000 theft cases, 700 robberies, and 6,000 vehicle break-ins in Oahu this year.
“We were asked to come out today to talk to Sailors about general safety tips when they are out enjoying all that Hawaii has to offer,” Siangco said. “Any little tip we can give that might keep someone safe is a win.”
Other topics discussed included local laws, statistics to keep in mind to get a better understanding of issues affecting the local area, and what HPD does to help keep locals, tourists, and military members safe.
“We look at our people as our most valuable resource at our command and keeping them safe is very important to us,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Puglia, commanding officer for MDSU1.
“If there is any information that we can share whether it is from our own internal organization or from an outside entity such as the HPD we’re going to do that to ensure our people are the most well informed, well educated, and empowered to make good decisions on or off duty. We really appreciate the HPD for coming out and providing this training to ensure our Sailors stay safe. It makes a big difference when you have an actual law enforcement officer standing in front of you and providing the information compared to a powerpoint presentation,” he added.
MDSU 1 is the U.S. Navy’s premier diving and salvage force, prepared to rapidly deploy combat-ready, expeditionary warfare capable, specialized dive teams to conduct harbor and waterway clearance, emergent underwater repairs, and salvage operations in all environments.
According to the Hawaii State Government and the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, Oahu is home to more than 950,000 residents and is visited by more than 400,000 tourists on average per month.