Norwalk police staffing issues prevent 'proactive' approach to burglaries

Chief says he could have more patrols to prevent burglaries if department was at full staff.
Cary Ashby
Sep 28, 2013

Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light wants to be more proactive when it comes to law enforcement -- especially when it comes to burglaries.

The department has been averaging three officers per shift.

"That's how we've been running on all three shifts, so its hard to be proactive," Light said. "We don't have the staffing to be proactive."

In 2012, police received 84 burglary complaints and made 17 arrests.

This year so far, officers have received 62 burglary complaints with 17 arrests. From April 1 through Monday, police made 11 arrests out of 36 of those burglaries, according to department records.

Light said with full staffing, there would be officers in plain clothes or in unmarked vehicles on patrol to be more proactive in preventing burglaries.

"It hamstrings us on what we can do to prevent these entries," the chief said.

With several officers out for various reasons, the city moved two part-time officers, Jason Bush and Brian Langjahr, temporarily to full-time status.

"Bush is done already. He's still part-time," Light said. "Langjahr will be done at the end of September."

Officer Dave Ditz has been on military leave all year. Light said three other officers were out from May through all of June and part of July due to surgeries.

Officer Alex Coy recently resigned. Light said Coy had been deployed with the National Guard "for most of the last nine years" and finally, the department notified Coy he had to choose to between being in the military or being a police officer full-time.

"That allows us to fill that position," Light said. "You can't fill that spot until he's gone because you're paying them while (they're deployed)."

The department has interviewed two certified officers. Light said those experienced applicants will be hired full-time.

Once Ditz returns and the city hires the two officers, the department will have 23 officers on the roster.

"In 2008, we had 25 on the roster, but Alex was gone," Light said, referring to Coy.

Comments

cracked

Great excuse for not doing the job. Norwalk Pd is the size of a small army now he wants a big army.If he gets it little will change just more expense.Stop the carry out patrol at Dave's.If he truly wishes to be proactive all he needs to do is give the order,done.

ladydye_5

Wow. Did you get busted by the "carry out patrol"? Seems you are a bit bitter. Never fails. People complain where there are too many police. People complain when there are not enough. I bet when your house is the one being broke into and they take too long to get there you will change your tune.

saxkris

Oh my Darling!

ladydye_5

Ah, how sweet. Are you following me?

Cliff Cannon

@cracked : F.Y.I. Norwalk has 9 fewer cops than the average city our size. We which says to me----we need more cops.


I should add, I think we need more cops through out Huron county as well. Problem, obviously is cost.Did you know it cost's Norwalk, roughly $80,000 per year for a rookie patrolman ?


My personal solution's is to not only find every savings we can in government at all levels. Then,I'd ask ----every employee---- in government positions to take a pay/benny cut,then use use those combined savings to add a ton of cops.


Of course, my idea is about as useful as a chipmunk in a forest fire. Because, who is voluntarily going to take a pay cut ? Still, more cops, is what I think we need and if ( when ?) a major crisis' hits. I'll bet no one questions the sacrifice they made for those extra cops.

haterwalkme

here is some thought keep the junkies in jail ///////////////////////

SeƱor Clown

How does putting plainclothes officers and/or unmarked cars on patrol constitute a proactive measure to prevent burglaries? Are you going to post a patrol at every business and residence? Wouldn't it be more effective to tell people to be responsible for securing their property than to let them be deluded into believing the police department is working to protect their unlocked car / house / outbuilding all night, every night?

swiss family

Senor..... I still believe that people, for the most part,will not only protect their ,properties, but will look out for their neighbors property as well.The problem. is, though, is that many of our neighborhoods are old,with tall bushy and full trees and very little lighting, so it is difficult to watch out for your neighborhood, when it is virtually dark , and unlit, at night.

I wonder if the city has any "official" light meter requirement, that streets and neighborhoods need to be lit to??I think that there are established noise levels that must be respected, but I firmly believe that many of our city streets (residential) would not pass the "sufficient" light requirement..It really does not do any good to talk to your city council representative, because they will tell you that they talked to the street dept, and they will check it out, only to have them come down during their work shift (IN THE DAYLIGHT) and determine that they do not see a problem...

I have a different solution instead of pay cuts..What if we regrouped our resources.. On a county wide scale, we have many small towns.. with each town having their own Police department, with each paying a sizable amount of money to the Chief,and all of the other positions.. But if we had just a county law enforcement team, with only the Sheriff in charge, and every other officer being paid a reasonable fee, but with them covering the entire county, we could eliminate a chunk of money paying for each and every Chief so we could be saving money, and have better county wide protection?????

I am sure that there would be small problems to start this out, but I think that for the added protection, without reducing the number of patrolling officers, and saving money to boot, it is worth considering... in my opinion

Cliff Cannon

double post.

Cliff Cannon

@ Swiss Family : I for one agree. That consolidating not only law enforcement, but also as many overlapping government services as we could, would save a ton of money.


However, the problem with that solution,is that it suffers from the same problems as does my solution of pay cuts-----stepping on toes as well as being a massive change. Which means,of course those actions are always going to be very hard to implement.


No matter. As Carlyle noted : " once it is decided a 'thing' is to be done. A thousand different ways of doing' it' ,become possible "


Which is to say. I'll bet a combination of these 2 idea's find their way into our future.

oz42388

Maybe they need to stop patrolling the bars so much and start patrolling the neighborhoods

earlduck

actually i agree with the chief,we do have more parades and norwalk police have some of the prettiest uniforms.
if we had more in pretty uniforms they could strut around more and make me even prouder