Beloit police chief recaps first year on the job

Chief: Violent crime numbers down
Beloit police chief recaps first year on the job

While there’s still a lot of work to be done, Beloit Police Chief David Zibolski said he’s proud of all that’s been accomplished during his first year on the job.

Zibolski said there have been significant improvements in crime numbers in the community. According to statistics from the police department, violent crime is down 2 percent from 2015.

“While 2 percent may not seem like much, it is significant to the three citizens who were not the victim of a murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault,” Zibolski said.

The department has also seen an increase in the number of arrests in violent crime cases. In 2014, the department solved 38 percent of violent crimes, and in 2015, that number increased to 68 percent. For the first quarter of 2017, the department has solved 70 percent of violent crimes.

“When we’re clearing crimes, we’re preventing future victimization because if we don’t arrest the robber today or the sexual assault suspect today, they will victimize someone else tomorrow,” Zibolski said.

Other numbers show shootings are down 50 percent, and shots fired incidents are down 43 percent through the first quarter of 2017, compared to 2016.

“I think it’s important for the community to know that we are tracking our crime, we’re on top of it,” Zibolski said. “We’re putting the cops where they need to be, and we’re having significant success.”

He credits strong leadership and good community relationships for helping to improve the department’s statistics.

“The message is clear: Do not commit violent crime in Beloit,” Zibolski said. “You will be caught.”

The chief also said the department has hired 16 patrol officers and two lieutenants since January 2016.

Zibolski was sworn in as Beloit’s 18th police chief on April 25, 2016.