Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reporting Graffiti in Hawaii

One of the biggest problems in fighting graffiti in Honolulu is figuring-out who to call. Sure, you could call the police, but it's not their job to clean it up and their involvement may amount to nothing more than filling-out a report. Typically, the police want to be called if someone sees vandals actually defacing a surface, so they can come over and make an arrest.

The difficulty is compounded by the fact that their is no single number to call to make a report. As you can see from the table below, the location of the graffiti makes a difference in who you are supposed to call. The City and the State assume no responsibility for graffiti placed on each other's property and neither one notifies the other is someone mistakenly reports to one body when it actually belong to the other. Meaning: if you report graffiti to the Mayor's office and they find-out it's on State property, they won't pass the word to the State. You'd have to do that, assuming you knew who to call in the first place. I'm not even sure if the Honolulu Police Department would notify the Hawaii State Sheriffs if they were in that situation.

In other words, nobody is talking to anybody else. So, it's up to the people to find-out who to call.

This has not been an easy task. When I called the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), they had no idea of who I should call to report graffiti on State property. I had to keep looking around until I found the correct department.

So, the table below contain all the phone numbers that I was able to gather. Some of them may be out-of-date, but it's my best effort. I'm willing to accept any help that may be offered.

It would be a good idea if the City and the State dealt with graffiti the same way they deal with potholes: have one number to call and whoever answers the phone would relay it to whoever's job it is to clean it up.

Duane Browning


Honolulu Police Department Graffiti Hotline: 808-723-3475

Graffiti hot-line [recording] (Mayor's Office): 808-296-9473

Bus shelters (TheBus): 808-848-4500

Drainage canals (Dept of Facilities Maintenance): 808-484-7600

Hawaiian Electric boxes and meters: 808- 548-7311 or email

Parks (Dept. of Parks and Recreation): 808-768-3001

Sidewalks and streets (Dept. of Facilities Maintenance): 808-484-7600

State highway facilities (Dept. of Transportation): 808-837-8047

State Property (State Central Services Division): 808- 831-6734

Traffic signs and signal boxes (Dept. of Facilities Maintenance): 808-484-7644

Water department facilities (Board of Water Supply): 808-748-5000
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