Police Department makes changes to public service hours because of COVID-19

Here are some of the other COVID-19 related announcements from Tuesday.

HPD alters some services

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The Hawaii Police Department has made changes in public services because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Records Section is closed to the public, but requests for police reports are being taken at all stations, by phone only. The reports will be distributed by mail only.

The phone numbers to request reports are:

• Hilo, 961-2233.

• Kona, 326-4646, ext. 285.

• Puna, 965-2716.

• Hamakua, 775-7533

• South Kohala, 887-3080.

• North Kohala, 889-6540.

• Ka‘u, 939-2580.

Firearms application permits and registration are by appointment only. To schedule an appointment in Kona, call 326-4646, ext. 222. For all other stations, refer to the above phone numbers.

The Traffic Services Section is closed to the public; however, the staff is still available to answer questions during normal business hours by calling 961-2227. Police do not administer drivers licensing. That’s done by the county Finance Department.

Dispatch and the 911 system continue normal operations with emergency and nonemergency calls.

The Patrol and Criminal Investigation divisions continue normal operations. District police stations remain open islandwide.

County warns of phone scam

Hawaii County is alerting the public about a telephone scam involving people seeking donations for the county’s first responders amid the COVID-19 emergency.

One scam caller asked for donations for “the overworked and underpaid” first responders.

County agencies do not make requests for donations by telephone or any other means.

The county advises if you receive a call, hang up immediately and call the police nonemergency number at 935-3311.

Regarding permit applications

The county departments of Public Works and Planning have implemented revised permit applications and inquiry processes effective immediately because of COVID-19 concerns.

The Hilo and Kona offices of DPW Engineering, Building and Administration divisions as well as Planning offices are closed to walk-in inquiries and submittals until further notice.

Planning and DPW offices will remain operational and continue to review and process permits. There will be permit- and document-submittal stations outside permit offices, which will be monitored throughout the day.

Submittals will be taken and begin processing within 48 hours. All applications need to include the applicant’s name, email and a contact phone number.

General inquiries to the departments should be made by phone or email to limit in-person interaction, and personnel will strive to respond within one business day. Those applicants needing a consultation should call or email to make an appointment.

Waivers for expiring driver’s licenses

The state is instituting a 90-day waiver on expired driver’s licenses and state ID cards because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

If your license or ID expires between March 23 and May 15, your credentials will be considered valid in the state of Hawaii for an additional 90 days.

That waiver also applies for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.

There also will be no in-person driver’s license, vehicle safety check or vehicle registration transactions until further notice. Vehicle registrations can still be done online or by mail even though your safety check might have expired. Check the Hawaii County website or contact the county’s vehicle registration office for further information.

The Transportation Security Administration is accepting driver’s licenses or state IDs that expired on or after March 1 for use at TSA checkpoints.

President Donald Trump announced Monday that the Oct. 1, 2020, REAL ID deadline will be extended. The new deadline has not been announced.

Grant will help feed older adults

Hawaii received a $1.2 million grant to provide meals for older adults, announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This was made possible by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 18, which provided $250 million in additional funding nationwide for the nutrition services programs authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965.

These programs provide meals to more than 2.4 million older adults each year through home delivery and in places such as community centers. The need for these services, particularly home-delivered and packaged meals, has increased as community measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 have closed meal sites and left many family caregivers unable to assist their older loved ones.

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In addition to meals, Older Americans Act programs provide a wide range of services such as help with bathing and dressing, rides to doctors’ offices, education on managing chronic illnesses, support for family caregivers and much more.

Older adults who need assistance can contact the Eldercare Locator to find services available in their community. The Eldercare Locator can be reached toll free at 1-800-677-1116 or online at https://eldercare.acl.gov/.

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