Norwalk Police Taking Proactive Approach to Fighting Crime
From Norwalk Reflector.
The Norwalk Police Department has set clear goals for 2015.
Chief David Light stressed the objective is to take a proactive approach to fighting crime.
But, as in any department, those goals need to be achieved while following a financial budget.
Light said the department tries to control costs by reviewing the budget at the end of every month.
“We need to continue to increase officer training in high-liability areas of concern,” the chief added.
The city has 23 police officers. According to city law, the police department is permitted to have up to 25 officers.
“I’d love to have 25,” Light said. “But, I’m glad to keep the 23.”
Light said a second 2015 goal is to maintain traffic enforcement.
This requires the staff review monthly traffic enforcement needs, with patrol supervisors monitoring officer statistics monthly.
Officers also will prioritize speed/assured clear distance, red light and stop-sign violations in an effort to reduce traffic accidents.
Maintaining department programs is also essential to a successful 2015.
That includes maintaining Facebook information and updating the department website, scheduling department meetings to include cultural diversity training and maintaining the D.A.R.E., Safety Town and crime prevention programs.
“Officer Dave Daniels is in charge of the D.A.R.E. program and Safety Town,” Light said, adding Daniels will also transition to the detective bureau where he will assist Sgts. Jim Fulton and Seth Fry.
Light said the police are going to push education in the schools to “help people make better decisions.”
Light said the D.A.R.E program works well, but added students need a second and even third round of drug prevention education in eighth grade and at the sophomore level.
The department’s fourth goal this year is to maintain the vehicle fleet and equipment.
“We need to upgrade laptops/tablets in all cruisers,” Light said.
Other goals include building the shooting range tower and increasing firearms training.
Light said the department has had some challenges with the Chargers.
“We’ve had problems with the front rotors warping on us,” he said. “We had to change out those rotors and that cost about $1,000 per vehicle.”
Light said officers praised the newer Ford four-wheel drives.
“We’ve had no problems with those,” he said.
Police will continue to work with local stores to reduce shoplifting.
Police want to work with store employees on shoplifter apprehension and increase shift walk-throughs of high-risk stores.
Two other goals include crime reduction and supplement department funding.
Light hopes to increase public speaking seminars concerning crime prevention, increase police personnel to 2008 levels, increase detective bureau personnel to focus on drug trafficking investigations and arrests and try to implement a school resource officer in public and parochial schools.
To supplement funding, police will continue the carrying concealed weapon classes to fund shooting range maintenance and use the 1033 program to obtain disaster relief equipment for the entire city.