Former Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Osbaldo “Ozzie” Ramos has been named Norwalk director of public safety. (Courtesy city of Norwalk)

A 28-year veteran with the Los Angeles Police Department has been named Norwalk’s new director of public safety.

Osbaldo “Ozzie” Ramos succeeds Dennis Kato, who had been at the position on an interim basis since May 13, 2021. Ramos took over on Nov. 7.

“Ozzie’s unique experiences will further expand the effectiveness of our city’s public safety,” Norwalk Mayor Rick Ramirez said in an emailed statement. “We first met as public safety officers for the city of Norwalk, and during his tenure with the department, Ozzie helped organize a city-led effort to reduce graffiti and juvenile delinquency, which are quality-of-life issues that continue to be a work in progress.”

Ramos grew up in the South Los Angeles region and served as the community liaison officer with the city of Paramount’s Department of Public Safety before joining the Los Angeles Police Department.

While with the LAPD, Ramos utilized a collaborative approach to reduce crime and build community support, as he understood the balance of enforcement and community policing, city officials said.

As the new director of public safety, Ramos will oversee the department’s staff of more than 50 employees and will manage the day-to-day operations of the department.

“I’m grateful and excited for this opportunity to come back to the city that helped start my career in law enforcement, Ramos said in the release.

Since its establishment in March of 1989, the City of Norwalk Department of Public Safety has evolved into a model for cities and law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

The Department of Public Safety was developed in order to establish the concept of community-based law enforcement services and to channel the efforts of community, law enforcement, education, probation, prosecution, courts, and social services towards a common objective. The goal of the City, in developing the Department of Public Safety, was to find effective solutions to neighborhood concerns of crime, vandalism, gang activity, juvenile delinquency, narcotics activity, and the general “quality of life” issues in the Community.

Through a unique and progressive mix of services, inter-agency partnerships, and community support and cooperation, the Department of Public Safety regularly resolves many neighborhood issues before they require a law enforcement response.

The Department provides residents and business owner’s access to public safety and law enforcement programs and services. Public Safety Officers (PSOs) respond to requests for safety services and information, handle municipal code enforcement, parking enforcement, conduct high-visibility patrols of the City’s parks, facilities, neighborhoods, and the commercial and business areas. PSOs also conduct informational outreach to the Community on public safety matters.

Source: Whittier Daily News and the City of Norwalk Web Page