Gov. Neil Abercrombie is looking into establishing a state highway patrol.
At a community forum Thursday night in Moiliili, the governor said a state highway patrol could take pressure off county police departments. The governor — who is living in lower Manoa while repairs are made to the governor’s residence behind Washington Place — appeared alarmed by the number of burglaries, many of which he believes are drug related.
Abercrombie said police may be able to have more of a presence in neighborhoods if they did not have to patrol and help clear traffic accidents state roads and highways.
I think we need to have a highway patrol. Other states have it. I think it would help the county police departments not to have to be patrolling or taking time up with accidents on the freeways and so on — on state highways, especially — and I think it would be helpful. I think it’s a safety measure.
It will take an investment. I’m looking into it. I don’t know that we’re going to be able to accomplish it, but I am looking into the question of whether or not we can help supplement, complement the county police departments by relieving them of having to patrol state roads.
Abercrombie also defended his soda tax proposal, not as a sin tax to punish behavior, but as a way to help address health problems such as obesity and diabetes. He confessed to his own fondness for Ben & Jerry’s, admitting he has a tough time turning down a dish of ice cream.
Can we find ways to admit to ourselves that the consequences of what we’re doing here cause certain things to happen that have to be paid for? Can we all contribute a little bit to see that that gets done?
Is there anybody here that is really that upset if you have to pay 5 cents or 10 cents more for your can of Coca-Cola, if it helps me keep health-care programs going for little kids?