Community members in Beloit fight to end crime

By: Max Hess Email
By: Max Hess Email

Posted Friday, May 23, 2014 -- 10:00 p.m.

It was a night to roll up your sleeves.

Mark Perry with Beloit's community action team called it a "town hall meeting" where people could voice their opinions about Beloit's recent violent crime.

'This is about people who are ready and willing to work," Perry said.

The room filled up quickly -- even the Beloit Police Chief didn't want to miss the opportunity.

"I'm here to listen to the people from the neighborhoods in Beloit who are concerned about the violence in our community," Chief Norman Jacobs said.

"We know there's a problem," he added, saying that the police department is being proactive by doing things like stepping up the amount of patrols.

Dr. Dennis Baskin, a professor and community member, says he is concerned.

"Each of us is a product of our community, and when our community suffers, everyone suffers."

Baskin says that the crooks causing trouble need to be held accountable.

"Many of the individuals that are involved in crime and disruptive behavior have to take personal responsibility for their actions," he said.

Mark Perry, who spoke with passion at tonight's meeting, says enough is enough.

"We keep losing people, and quite honestly, as a person who grew up in this community, I am tired of reading about it, hearing about it, seeing it, and it keeps hitting closer to home."

Changing that was a goal made clear tonight -- to keep the southern Wisconsin community away from being drowned in a reputation nobody thinks it deserves.

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