NORWALK, Conn. Norwalk residents have become more willing to help Norwalk Police make arrests in the crimes in their neighborhoods, both Mayor Richard Moccia and Lt. Timothy Murphy say.
"I think the citizens are fed up with the level of crime that's been occurring in particular neighborhoods of Norwalk," said Murphy, commander of the detective bureau. "The community is now coming forward and assisting police in the development of suspects and the eventual arrest of suspects."
"Over the last six or seven months there has been more willingness of the community to come forth, even if it is anonymous," Moccia said .
Both men made the remarks at a press conference that followed the shooting of a Greenwich woman Wednesday in the parking lot of the Stop & Shop on Connecticut Avenue. The mayor said residents of Colonial Village helped police develop information as they pursued the suspect. "We have talked about for a long time that I have been mayor about people being willing to come forth and talk to us. We've seen more of that, not just in this case," he said.
Cooperation was key in Friday morning's arrest of Terrick "Skrappy" Vanlierop , 21, of 55 Park St., Bridgeport, according to an affidavit on file at Norwalk Superior Court. Vanlierop is accused of shooting at a Norwalk man at about 12:50 p.m. Oct. 8 on Woodward Avenue. Police interviewed numerous witnesses and tracked down the probable target of the shooting, the affidavit says. That led to identifying Vanlierop as the suspect.
"We've made a lot of arrests lately," Murphy said. "If you look at some of our press releases and some of the activity that has been occurring, we've been very responsive and very diligent in following up on the arrests of a lot of the more serious crimes that have been occurring in Norwalk.
"It all comes toward forward thinking with Chief Kulhawik regarding police-oriented policing, and our community policing division. It's essential for the community to be involved in their own neighborhoods to assist in reducing and eliminating the problems that's been occurring in their neighborhoods."
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