City of Beloit will host community meetings regarding neighborhood progress

Published: Mar. 12, 2019 at 10:17 PM CDT
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The City of Beloit will host two neighborhood meetings to recap progress being made in neighborhoods with higher crime rates.

Sarah Millard, the director of strategic communications for the City of Beloit, sent a release that said the city will identify ongoing needs in the Hackett and Merrill neighborhoods.

City of Beloit Police Chief David Zibolski, said a triple shooting on Monday happened within the Hackett neighborhood. A 21-year-old man was found dead at the scene and two others were hurt. Police are still looking for those responsible.

He said the city has seen a decrease in crime rates, and Monday night’s incident is not reflective of the city’s progress as a whole.

“Our violent crimes clearance rate last year was 66 percent. So, 66 percent of violent crime was cleared by arrest, which is about 20 percent above average for departments of our size,” he said.

The two neighborhoods are part of the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area, which is part of the city’s five-year Consolidated Plan for federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, according to Millard.

Chief Zibolksi said a lot of the progress the department has made is due to community outreach.

“All of that is starting to build trust within the community, and I think that puts the department in a much different light that it had been in the past. So when things like this happen, people are willing to talk to us,” he said.

The director of planning and development for Community Action Inc., Marc Perry, along with the city and police department, will host the meetings.

“The people in the neighborhoods we serve, Hackett and Merrill, often are in a position where they feel like they aren’t listened to or don’t have a voice, and it’s important that we let them know their voices are heard,” Perry said.

There will be two meetings:

• Merrill Neighborhood: Wednesday, March 13, 6-8 p.m., Merrill Community Center, 1428 Wisconsin Ave.

• Hackett Neighborhood: Wednesday, March 27, 6-8 p.m., Beloit Historical Society, 845 Hackett St.