Norwalk Police Works With ATF, Feds To Fight Gun Crimes

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Dave Vatti, deputy chief of the violent crimes and narcotics division of the U.S. Attorney's Office, left, listens to Nowalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik during a press conference Wednesday about reducing gun crimes. Mayor Richard Moccia looks on. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk Police Department is teaming up with the United States Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to reduce gun crimes by identifying and arresting the city’s most violent offenders.

The partnership, which is modeled on similar programs in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport, will develop an ongoing list of Norwalk’s “worst of the worst” violent offenders who have committed gun crimes and the team will work to get them off the streets, officials said.

Norwalk police already had long-standing relationships with the ATF and U.S. Attorney’s Office, but the new program moves those relationships to the next level. There are no additional costs to the city for the program, according to Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik.

“One of the reasons we selected Norwalk was that there had been a recent spate of shootings in the city,” said Dave Vatti, deputy chief of the Violent Crimes and Narcotics department for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Vatti was referring to several shootings in Norwalk that occurred during the summer.

The program draws from the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which was developed in 2001 to help state and federal officials prosecute “serious and persistent offenders who possess firearms.”

Under the initiative, federal authorities will meet regularly with a Norwalk police officer to review all gun-related cases. They will compile the list of most-violent offenders and determine whether those individuals can be charged additionally with federal gun violations. 

“I’m delighted that we have been chosen to participate in this program,” said Kulhawik in a statement. “We have always enjoyed an excellent working relationship with our federal partners, and this designation as a Project Safe Neighborhood city will greatly enhance that partnership.”

Kulhawik said the number of confirmed shootings in Norwalk to date this year is down compared to the same period in 2011, but the city still grapples with such crimes.

During a news conference Wednesday at police headquarters, Mayor Richard Moccia said the program gives authorities “another tool, another asset” in the fight against violent offenders.

“This program has the dual benefit of helping to take criminals off the streets, and do that without impacting our city’s budget,” Moccia said.

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Comments (8)

Veteran:

When the State's Attorneys finally decide to prosecute gun offenders under the CT Law 53-202 (h), (i) and (j), which imposes a MANDATORY 5 YEAR SENTENCE for ANY gun crime, maybe the gun violence in this state will go down!

CT Law 53 has been used in other states to reduce crime almost immediately wherever it was USED, but our present Attorney General and his Assistants - including Blumenthal, who got the law passed - have NEVER used it in a court case. Evidence the lack of any criminal charged in Norwalk - you hear about 'gun charges' but only a few years, NEVER 5 YEARS. Ask the prosecutor, "Why not?" Hold their feet to the fire as well.

I'm a LEGAL gun owner and want our state officials to truly ENFORCE our present laws to stop these acts. More laws against law-abiding citizens do NOT stop crime - putting the real criminals in jail will! Stop worrying about jailing the kid with the marijuna and jail the one with the gun! They want to 'play hardball', well so should we, legally.

lwitherspoon:

Excellent news. I'm especially pleased that this won't cost Norwalk anything.

sononeknows:

Its nice someone supports our local effort but i bet if you ask some of the people on Ct today any amount of money would be worth fighting gun voilence.

Maybe the history of Norwalks fight and the cost of Gaurdian Angels were also free but why Norwalk didn't go for it ends up in the hands of Rilling and Moccia.

Odd how some put a price on safety and trust those in charge.

You honestly think this is going change anything?Laws need to be made and Mayors when going to the Mayors Conference should tackle the issue not people.

Just maybe eyes will be opened and attitudes change,money well spent would help change the situation.Free is not always the answer.

Blame those who are in or was in charge when it comes to Norwalk voilence,1 council member now has time to reflect the fact not once was there a vote for more police in Norwalk.

Norwalk wastes money everday and now that the media realizes what sells advertising is news of the day by a reporter not just another picture op and a bolo from city hall.

Tim T:

Shame Moccia did not admit this years ago..Maybe if he didn't have his head buried in the sand claiming Norwalk did not have a crime problem we would not have the crime epidemic that we currently have. Also his hand picked chief promised a resolution to the stop and shop shooting. This has not been solved as usual by the NPD. In the private sector when you make a commitment and don't keep it you get fired.

sononeknows:

Tim they are well above the number of police instances this year maybe the news media will work a little and tell us if crime is down yet arrests and calls are up by 4,000 calls so far this year.I never understood why reporters in Norwalk could never ask questions I though that is what they do.

That Stop and Shop deal is now a ATF job anyways what is Norwalk going to do drop the mess Rilling left behind to crack a case that yes will be solved but I doubt by Norwalk,only with their help and evidence collecting we don't have but 22 detectives who for the most part do court crap.

sononeknows:

Dick we don't care about the cost those of us who live at the firing range have had it and that was years ago,

There are no additional costs to the city for the program, according to Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik,grow up Tom and grow some B@lls tell the council need more ment stand up to Dick he won't be there much longer.

What we are reading is great now tell us about the 122 police officers out of 174 who actually make the street.

The city has been pounded with break ins and large business thefts and now we have help the time of year the kids put away the guns and party till spring.

Maybe some of those guns in Bridgeport have made it here you know the news two weeks agon of a truck driver stealing a 100 or so guns from Bridgeport.

I’m delighted that we have been chosen to participate in this program,” we were chosen because you Tom can't do what Rilling couldn't deliver safety with the force we have.

This might of been a great story but we don't forget the last shooting involved a Norwalk police officers son and since then many gun related incidents where people have owned and had licences for those weapons so lets call it a spike not a spat in crime.

This was a disgust9ing effort to make who safe the police or the public?

This program has the dual benefit of helping to take criminals off the streets, and do that without impacting our city’s budget,” Moccia said.

A Mayor of a large city where fear now has taken over any feeling of safety Mayor could ever make while he is Mayor.

Countless crimes in the past few weeks go unreported by the news that would of shown the ATF has been busy with the guns in Norwalk showing more than a spate how lame.

Kulhawik said the number of confirmed shootings in Norwalk yep call on a shooting as a regular citizen and they come to your house check and see if you have any paper on you and ignore the fact you heard what sounded like gunshots yes in Norwalk call in a shooting and they want to know your shoe size and mothers maiden name.Why bother call anything in anymore when the cop is hostile towards you by calling in a crime.

Nice try boys ATF is hear because they probably invited themselves we know what would happen to the city during tourist season and have them come in,yep unsafe city makes business in your downtown bars non existance lets wait till winter better yet snow.

When will we ever hear whats going on in Norwalk

OLD TIMER:

Great news, when word gets around that getting caught with a gun gets an offender a very long time, far away from home and visitors, there will be a lot less guns on the street. Our state courts do not hand out long terms and visitors can easily visit prisoners in our prisons. Federal courts hand out long sentences and the federal prison system does not keep convicts close to home.

sononeknows:

your right old timer but recently where 2 were shot one killed the kid was stopped and simply said yes I shot and killed the kid before he did me.

these kids don't care where they spend their time they learn more going in so coming out they develope other skills in prison.They go back to the streets they know where in the past it was easy to commit a crime with very little police presence,in fact they tell others coming out Norwalk is safe just speak spanish and most cops have no clue what your saying.

The crime right now in Norwalk is not enough cops on the force,you figure by now the news would compare some facts city by sity and double check Toms we know he uses Moccias math.

You do hit the nail on the head when you talk courts,in all his years as Mayor how many times do you think Dick testified in the state house in front of a panel on crime,or do you suppose he left it up to Duff and Morris to push for tougher laws.

I read Duff was easy on criminals is that true?

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