Police in Small Wisconsin City Want Residents to Volunteer to Have Their Homes Searched for Guns
Police in Beloit, Wisconsin, want residents to volunteer to let officers search their homes for firearms as part of a new initiative that officials believe will help reduce gun violence.
Beloit Police Chief Norm Jacobs told Wisconsin Public Radio that officers will mostly be looking for guns in homes that residents might not even be aware of.
“That’s really what we’re looking for. Maybe we’ll find a toy gun that’s been altered by a youngster in the house — and we know the tragedies that can occur there on occasion,” he added.
Jacobs also told WPR that “gun violence is as serious as the Ebola virus.” The home searches, he argued, are similar to a vaccine to strengthen the city’s immune system, the report stated.
That being said, the police chief admitted he isn’t anticipating a stampede of residents eager to have their homes searched.
In 2014, there have reportedly been seven gun-related homicides in Beloit. Most have victims have been teenagers or men in their 20s.
Beloit Police Ask Residents To Volunteer To Have Their Homes Searched For Guns
Police in Beloit are launching a new effort to reduce gun violence in which they’re asking city residents to volunteer to have police search their homes for guns.
Police Chief Norm Jacobs said he doesn’t expect the phone to be ringing off the hook with requests for police to search their homes. He nevertheless hopes the program will encourage people to think about gun violence as an infectious disease like Ebola, and a home inspection like a vaccine to help build up the city’s immune system.
“Gun violence is as serious as the Ebola virus is being represented in the media, and we should fight it using the tools that we’ve learned from our health providers,” he said.
Jacobs said he hopes some searches will result in the discovery of guns they didn’t know were in their own homes. He said that there’s also a chance they’ll find guns linked to crimes.
“That’s really what we’re looking for,” he said. “Maybe we’ll find a toy gun that’s been altered by a youngster in the house — and we know the tragedies that can occur there on occasion.”
There have been seven gun homicides in Beloit this year. Four of the victims were teenagers or young men in their 20s — like Melisha Holloway’s 20-year-old son Raymond, who was killed in April. Holloway said too many young men have given up on school.
“Pretty much all those kids and young men just need to be is educated,” said Holloway. “You have a lot of them that barely read at a fifth-grade level yet they’re 25 year-old-men. But they know how to work a gun. There’s something wrong with that picture.”
This week, 20-year-old Jajuan Logan was sentenced to 12 years in prison for Holloway’s murder.