Beloit police see drop in violent crime in 2017

No shooting deaths for first time in 11 years
Beloit police see drop in violent crime in 2017

The Beloit Police Department is celebrating a milestone after reporting no shooting deaths in the city for 2017.

Chief David Zibolski said it was the first time in 11 years that no one from the community had died from gunfire.

“I think it’s important that the community recognizes how much we’ve come, how much we’ve grown and are moving in the right direction over a short period of time,” he said.

Zibolski also reported there was only one homicide in Beloit in 2017, which is the first time in five years.

“Obviously, one is too many, but we’re heading in a very good direction,” he said.

The chief credits everyone in the Police Department, as well as the community for the reduction in violence.

“We have citizens working with us on a regular basis both in person, through social media and through anonymous tips that we get,” Zibolski said. “That really increases our ability to get out there and focus on the folks that are involved in these things.”

Data from the department shows the number of homicides over the past 10 years:

2017: 1
2016: 2
2015: 4
2014: 8
2013: 2
2012: 1
2011: 1
2010: 3
2009: 5
2008: 3
2007: 2

Zibolski said the department has been restructured to make sure employees are able to grow and develop in their positions under supervision.

“The department didn’t really have a structure in place where we were developing people at all levels so that they would excel and get better in their position,” he said. “So we’ve increased our supervision and accountability.”

Zibolski said the department plans to hold a news conference the morning of Feb. 7 to talk more about the department’s accomplishments and goals for the new year.