BELOIT (WIFR) – Beloit Police are seeing a disturbing trend. They’ve had more calls for gunshots so far this year than all of last year.
“The week before last during the night, several gunshots had gone off, my son had heard those.”
Terri Townsend has lived in her home on Beloit’s West Side for nearly 20 years. She says it’s a good neighborhood but it’s not uncommon to hear gunshots. Beloit Police say it doesn’t matter where we live because they’re getting more calls for shots fired all over the city.
“We’re not seeing a location that continues to pop up.”
Yet, the number of calls for shots fired is up. Cops say so far this year, they’ve had 113 calls compared to about 93 in all of 2012, but Captain Dan Risse says the numbers don’t tell the full story.
He says at least 20 times people called police saying they heard gunshots. When police arrived, they found the noise was actually something else.
“It could be anything from a car backfiring, it could be fireworks, typically a big one in the middle of the summertime, it could be a traffic crash when all someone hears is the bang.”
Officers are watching the numbers closely. Like Rockford Police, Beloit cops also do hotspot policing, patrolling areas of the city with the most recent spikes in crime each day. That tactic puts Terri Townsend’s mind at ease.
“I believe in the Beloit Police Department. They’re a pretty good bunch but you know they can’t be everywhere at the same time.”
Captain Risse says despite more calls for shots fired, the number of people who have actually been shot hasn’t gone up.
The number of shots fired calls in Rockford are also up compared to the year before by about 1.5%.