NORWALK -- Crime in Norwalk has dropped to a 10-year low, while city revenues have returned to pre-recession highs, according to information presented at Norwalk’s state of the city event Friday afternoon. Held at the DoubleTree Hotel, the event was a fundraiser for the Norwalk Community Coordinating Council.
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Curtis Jensen said 3,163 arrests were made in Norwalk in 2014 – “that’s a fairly substantial amount,” he acknowledged – but it still represented at least two consecutive years of declining crime stats.
Sheriff’s deputies have also made substantial progress in curbing residential burglaries that plagued west Norwalk neighborhoods near the freeways, the captain said.
Early prisoner release continues to create issues for Norwalk and the entire Southern California region, Jensen said, including Proposition 47, last year’s voter-mandated imitative that reduces penalties for non-violent drug-related crimes.
Methamphetamine addicts “don’t hold 40-hour jobs to meet that addiction,” Jensen said, resulting in continued vehicle and home break-ins.
Norwalk city manager Mike Egan, the event’s keynote speaker, had mostly positive news in his address as well. He announced that Costco plans to build a 5-island gas station next to its warehouse store on Hoxie Avenue, and the DoubleTree is in negotiations to expand its hotel by 100 rooms.
He also announced that Norwalk has been named a “Tree City USA” for its efforts in green landscaping. Norwalk planted 150 new trees throughout the city last year.
Work on the 5 Freeway is ahead of schedule, Egan said, and the city is looking at possibly creating a walking trail on excess land north of Sproul Street and south of the freeway near Norwalk Park.
Meanwhile, work continues on the 15 acres of park space Norwalk is receiving from the old tank farm near Holifield Park.
“It’ll be a little while, we still have to line up the funding, but this is huge,” Egan said.