New leadership means major changes for Beloit PD

One hundred twenty days after being named interim police chief, David Zibolski laid out a plan that brings change to the troubled Beloit Police Department.

Zibolski replaced Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin after they were placed on paid administrative leave on June 16. A review of the department reported serious leadership and management issues under Jacobs and Dunkin.

Zibolski, a 27-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, has instituted changes to the policies, procedures, recruitment and leadership structure.

Changes to recruitment include the inclusion of African-American and Hispanic community members in the assessment process. The department is also recruiting at various high schools and colleges to develop interest in law enforcement careers.

To better engage the community, the department conducted a symposium to listen to the concerns of citizens and business stakeholders. A second symposium is set for Oct. 20 at Merrill Elementary School.

The department is developing a unique program in partnership with the Department of Corrections called the Parolee Roll Call Program. It connects newly paroled individuals with police officers by inviting them to attend shift briefings. Meeting with the officers allows the parolee to develop a relationship with law enforcement.

To address concerns regarding leadership, the department has established shift commander positions. Shift sergeants will serve as shift commanders and provide a resource for decision-making and review. In addition training is being added in areas of crisis intervention, leadership, interview and interrogation.