BREAKING: Maui Lawmakers Request Deployment of Hawaiʻi National Guard to Rural Areas

April 11, 2020, 3:56 PM HST · Updated April 13, 9:35 AM
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Background photo: PC: file via Office of Governor David Ige

Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English and Representative Lynn DeCoite sent a joint letter to the Governor today requesting the mobilization and deployment of the Hawaiʻi National Guard to the remote communities of East Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.

Sen. English (Senate District 7 – Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe) and Rep. DeCoite (House District 13 – Molokaʻi, East Maui, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe and Molokini) are urging deployment to help enforce travel restrictions, enhance community policing efforts and maintain law and order. 

The letter states: “While we believe that the necessary actions are being take to combat this pandemic, an outbreak of COVID-19 in any of our rural areas will be devastating to the health and well-being of our constituency.”

Sen. English said, “We have received many requests from community members and kūpuna for this increased support. I want to be clear that this is not an effort to militarize the National Guard or to declare martial law, it’s simply an effort to ensure that the proper policies are being enforced to help curve the spread of COVID-19 in our rural communities.”

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“National Guard members have already been helping police at curfew checkpoints on Kauaʻi and we are asking for similar assistance to help ease the burden of our communities’ already scant police force,” said Sen. English.

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