California : Safety by City
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There are a lot of cities named Norwalk across America, but this article is on Norwalk, California.
If you are looking for a different Norwalk, feel free to stay and read about this city near the central part of Los Angeles.
This city is right on the border between Orange County and Los Angeles County and freeways in the city can get you just about anywhere you want to go, whether the beach or the mountains, in 30 minutes.
Norwalk is also home to a typical adventure park, with mini-golf, bumper cars, skeeball, and an arcade.
However, this arcade is anything but typical, as you might have seen it in a movie or music video.
Brad Pitt starred in his first major role in a movie filmed at Golf ‘N Stuff.
Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” video was shot here too.
There are six neighborhoods in Norwalk and just over 100,000 people.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) oversees law enforcement here and there is no city-dedicated police force.
There is a sub-station for LASD in Norwalk.
Warnings & Dangers in Norwalk
OVERALL RISK : LOW
The overall risk here is pretty low. Crime rates are average, with some peaks and valleys in the numbers we'll discuss. It's also a diverse community with Latinos/Hispanics making up 70% of the population. The Asian population is 14% and African American is 5%. Caucasians make up 10% of the community.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
You have a lot of options in Norwalk for public transportation. There's the local Norwalk Transit System, used by more than 1.5 million people a year. The Metro, MetroLink, and Long Beach Transit all have stops here, pretty much getting you anywhere you want to be in the L.A. Basin. Taxis and rideshares are available too. All rides are low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Just one pickpocket was reported in 2020, so there's a low risk of this happening to you. That doesn't mean letting your guard down, however. Police say it's best to put a wallet in the front pocket with a button instead of leaving it in the back pocket. It's just harder for a pickpocket to get a hold of it without you noticing.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
You've got to worry about earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, and heatwaves in Norwalk and surrounding cities. It's a medium risk just because of the severity potential, not the frequency.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
The robbery rates are slightly higher than the national average. There's still a low risk of it happening to you, but it's a little higher than I'd like to see. That said, there's still just a one in 796 chance of being a robbery victim.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
The Los Angeles Metro area is always going to be a medium risk due to the population size, tourist attractions like Disneyland, and the major corporations here. Norwalk is 17 miles from L.A., so it's in the same risk category.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The city has a website page dedicated to scams, but there aren't any that would impact a tourist. This should be a low risk for you. Just remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, or someone asks you to ever wire money or purchase a gift card for them, run!
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
The sexual assault rate is half the national average, which is a good sign for female travelers in this area. You should have a low risk, but this is a city close to a major metro area, and it's densely populated. Practice good personal safety steps and you'll be fine.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The city's tap water is safe to drink and it meets all standards. There have been no recent health violations giving it a low risk.
Safest Places to Visit in Norwalk
We talked a little about Golf ‘N Stuff, but it’s a great place to visit with activities for the family and also a great conversation starter to discuss the movies or music videos shot here and in other Norwalk locations.
Stop by the D.D. Johnston-Hargitt House Museum and go back to the days when Norwalk was founded.
This is the home of one of the city’s founding families.
The Gilbert Sproul Museum is another place to learn about the history of the city back when Native Americans roamed the land.
Visit the Cultural Arts Center to see some of the best paintings and sculptures by locals.
There are classes for kids too, where they can express their artistic side.
In nearby Bellflower, you can visit the Los Angeles County Fire Museum to learn about the history and advancements in firefighting over the years.
If you plan on visiting a beach, going to the mountains, or heading to downtown L.A., you’re just about 30 minutes away from it.
Aside from the things mentioned above, there isn’t really a lot to do in Norwalk that’s going to fill full vacation days.
Places to Avoid in Norwalk
Crime maps show the incidents are pretty well spread out throughout the city.
In a surprising trend twist, the area along the 605 is one of the safest.
Usually, cities have more crime near freeways, but not Norwalk.
The thing about Norwalk is there just isn’t much for a tourist to do, leaving people to consider just walking around aimlessly or hanging out in a park for hours.
Since it’s a densely populated area, with the known gang and drug issues, it’s smart to make plans of where you are going instead of wandering around.
If you want to avoid traffic, don’t stay in Norwalk. Seriously, this city is close to four major freeways.
You’ll have great access, but you’ll also have a lot of traffic.
Just be prepared for it as it’s part of life in California.
With so many public transportation options, you might want to ditch the car and let someone else take the wheel for a fee.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Norwalk
- Sign up for Nixle alerts through the LASD. You’ll be informed of crimes, missing people, weather developments, and civil emergencies. Since it’s a countywide system, you can feel safer knowing you’re informed no matter where you go in LA County.
- If you’re going to be visiting Orange County, sign up for similar alerts through OC Alert. Now you’re covered with safety information for the bulk of the Los Angeles metro area.
- Even though there isn’t a police department in Norwalk, you can still keep in touch with the LASD substation. There’s a Twitter account hosted by the deputies who patrol this town. You should follow them to stay informed, learn about crime crackdowns, and get updates on community events during your visit.
- While you’re on your mobile device, download the MyShake app. This will alert you to earthquakes in the area and is so efficient you might get the notification of an earthquake before you feel the ground shake.
- Did I just scare you with #4? It’s perfectly normal in California to have some smaller earthquakes frequently. It’s as normal as rain in Seattle and thunderstorms in the Midwest. You can learn about earthquake safety in that app as well, so you can be better prepared just in case of a big one.
- Deputies here are present and seen in the community, so that should make you feel safe. They also love to do organized events like DUI checkpoints, pedestrian safety violation crackdowns, and weapons checks. If you get stopped, follow all instructions from the officers and don’t panic.
- Since crime trends can change, you should check up on the LASD Crime Mapping website before booking your hotel. You can search by address and crime type to see the latest reports. Right now, the official reports from the FBI are from 2020, and a lot might have changed in that time frame.
- Go511.org is a great website to check traffic in and around Norwalk. It shows delays, construction projects, and live cameras of major intersections.
- One of the biggest tragedies to impact Norwalk is honored with a plaque at a strip mall near Firestone and Pioneer boulevards. This was the site where two military planes crashed in the air and landed in Norwalk in 1958. 48 people were killed, including a woman on the ground.
- You are going to have a lot of ethnic food to choose from here with such a diverse population. Check online reviews so you can plot your food map for your visit. I watched a video about TNT Tacos while researching this article, and it made me so hungry I ordered Mexican food locally.
So... How Safe Is Norwalk Really?
It’s as safe as any average city.
The violent crime rate is at California and the national average.
Property crime rates are a good 30% lower than both state and national averages.
Here are your chances of being a victim of a crime in Norwalk:
- Violent Crime: 1 in 235
- Robbery: 1 in 796
- Theft: 1 in 90
There are some really dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles County and Norwalk is not one of them.
Yes, it’s diverse, so you’ll need to be accepting of all races and maybe deal with some language barriers as you interact with people.
There is gang activity here, but it’s mostly a situation where if you don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with you.
If you come from a big city, nothing about Norwalk will surprise you.
If you come from a more rural area of an expansive suburban location, this might feel a little suffocating and outdated for you.
How Does Norwalk Compare?
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
- Visas - The Visa is handled at the airport and no additional processing or registration is needed to be in Norwalk.
- Currency - The USD is the only currency accepted here, and you really don't need cash. Just about everything can be purchased on credit cards or through mobile app payments.
- Weather - You'll love the weather here. The coldest winter day averages 68°(F) for a high and 46°(F) for a low. You'll want to have a jacket or sweatshirt for the chilly nights. The heat of the summer gets up to 86°(F) for a high and 66°(F) for a low. Fall and spring bring highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Bring layers of clothing and good walking shoes.
- Airports - The closest airport is Long Beach International, just 10 miles away. Los Angeles International Airport is 20 miles east. John Wayne Airport in Orange County is 24 miles southeast. The Hollywood Burbank Airport is 29 miles north.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance to Norwalk is a great idea, especially if you're traveling in the summer, fall, or winter when wildfires can shut down freeways and impact air travel.
Norwalk Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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