The Norwalk Patriot – June 2022
Chris Johnson was welcomed back to Norwalk by the city council and residents this week as he began to serve as the new sheriff captain of the Norwalk station.
The new sheriff captain was introduced during the city council meeting Tuesday, and residents had the opportunity to meet him during Wednesday’s “Coffee with a Cop” event.
Johnson moved to the city in 1974 and started his career in law enforcement as a public safety officer. He was captain of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s station in Marina del Rey for six years but decided to transfer back to Norwalk.
“I always wanted to come back to Norwalk because I’ve lived here for so long, and I have so many good memories here,” Johnson said. “I went to high school and elementary school here, I have family that still lives in the city, so this is my dream job.”
The new sheriff captain said his familiarity with the city and community could help him determine the course of action in a situation.
“One guy was telling me he lives on the border of Downey and Norwalk, and sometimes law enforcement is not sure which city it’s in,” Johnson said. “Because I’ve been in the city for a long time, I say, ‘I understand, you’re on this side of Cecilia Street, so you are actually in Norwalk.’”
As he left the MDR station, county supervisor Holly Mitchell reduced their funding, resulting in the loss of two patrol officers. They were replaced with civilian social workers and homeless outreach positions.
“I think what the station needs more than anything is those two positions back. We’d be willing to work with the civilians they’re offering us, but it wouldn’t be the same,” the sheriff captain said.
Johnson could not resolve the issue before his transfer, leaving negotiations to his successor.
“The difference here is Norwalk is they’re putting more money into the law enforcement and not taking it away. They invested in a whole new team of deputies,” Johnson said. “The Public Safety Officer officers have their HOPE team, which is an amazing tool that helps us tremendously.”
As captain of the Norwalk sheriff’s station, Johnson expressed his intentions to build community faith in law enforcement.
“I think it’s important for someone in my position to be at community meetings and events where I can meet people. So they know who’s actually in charge of the station,” the sheriff captain said. “So they can reach out to me when they have a problem. They don’t just call and talk to some random person. They actually know who I am.”
Johnson also commended the public safety HOPE team and the sheriff station for reducing crime in the city as he entered the new position.