The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial on Oahu is a very safe place for you and your tour family. Some people may question this, asking about some incidents that have happened in the past. For example, there was an incident where there was a shooting at Pearl Harbor. This is true, however; you must keep in mind that this was an isolated incident that happened in December 2019. An on-duty US Navy Sailor shot three workers at the Naval Shipyard, killing two and wounding the third before killing himself. At the time, he was an armed watchstander guarding his submarine as it underwent repairs. Apparently, he just snapped and shot the three men with his issued weapons. The sailor had allegedly been dissatisfied with his commanders and reportedly had suffered from mental and emotional issues for some time. To the extent that reports say that he was reportedly sent to anger management classes. Reportedly, the US Navy’s investigation stated that they could find no reason behind the shooting or the reason for the three to have been targeted specifically. Since the shooting, the US Navy has reviewed the procedures in place regarding the mental health of sailors, as well as procedures on the assignment of armed watch standers and their procedures regarding responses to active shooters. On the day of the shooting, the federal police and the base police locked down Ford Island for a few hours. No shuttle buses were allowed to come or go from Ford Island. While this inconvenienced many who were trapped on Ford Island, this was done because, at the time, the only thing the base police knew was that there was an active shooter. They did not know who the shooter was if he was alone, and where he began his short rampage: where he or even how many of them were. This being the case, they decided to lock down Naval Station Pearl Harbor for everyone’s safety. This does go to show that even during a one-in-a-million incident, the security at Pearl Harbor that the base security, and other federal agencies are concerned and have procedures in place to deal with every eventuality. Once everything settled and deemed safe, Pearl Habor opened back up again. Again, aside from very rare incidents, Pearl Harbor is a very safe place. Even when bad things do happen, there are many procedures and personnel in place to ensure that they are taken care of in a safe manner.
The National Park Service has its police enforcement officers throughout the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and its parking lots. Their Law Enforcement Office is located at the Visitor Center but not in public view. They are equipped for any emergency and are well-trained professionals. There are also security cameras throughout the Visitor Center and parking lots which are monitored throughout the day. If a situation did occur in which additional help was warranted, the National Park Service could call for the Navy Military Police and the Honolulu Police department.
Because the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is on military land, any violations would be a federal offense. Hawaii’s professional shoplifters know that the Pearl Harbor stores are not worth taking the risk of getting caught with all their security personnel, hidden cameras, and stricter federal sentencing guidelines.
Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is a very secure location. Here are some additional tips to help ensure that you have an enjoyable experience at Pearl Harbor.
Enclosed shoes are recommended, depending on the attractions that you will be visiting; you will be boarding either a shuttle boat, battleship, or submarine. These all possess areas that may be stubbing or tripping hazards. Therefore, flipip flops, Crocs, platforms, or high heels are not advised.
Dress comfortably. Please remember that, above all, Pearl Harbor is a solemn place. Keeping that in mind Pearl Harbor does have a dress code, but it is not a particularly strict one. No swimwear, no shirts with offensive imagery or language, and no revealing attire. Hawaii’s sun is intense. Sunglasses, head covering, and sunscreen are recommended to prevent eye strain and sunburn.
Pearl Harbor is a solemn place where many people lost their lives. Please remember to act appropriately, especially when on the Battleship Arizona Memorial. Please refrain from loud talking, laughter, foul or inappropriate gestures, or language. Please do not throw things or spit off of the battleship Arizona Memorial. Littering is prohibited and does carry a fine.
Remember, no bags capable of concealing a fist-sized object are allowed in Pearl Harbor. If you have any bags with you, you must check them in at the bag storage prior to entering the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. There is a fee to check your bags in at Pearl Harbor. Clear bags are allowed. Anything in your pockets is fine. Medication or medical equipment is permitted. The carry case for this should only be able to accommodate that item. Cameras are allowed, but no long-range telephoto lenses. There are locations at Pearl Harbor where no photography is permitted. Please follow Park Ranger and staff directives. Camera bags are not allowed, but carrying cases are allowed as long as the camera snugly fits in the case. Strollers are allowed in the Visitor Center but not in the Theater or on the USS Arizona Memorial. Cellphones are allowed, but please silence/turn off your phone when in the Theater or on the battleship Arizona Memorial.
Please follow the directions of the National Park Service or other regulative bodies when at Pearl Harbor. They are there to ensure the protection of Pearl Harbor and its visitors.
Above all, remember to have an enjoyable time, learn something new, and make many memories of your time in Hawaii,