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Beloit police ask for community’s help amid rise in gun violence

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BELOIT (WKOW) -- A woman is in critical condition after being shot early Saturday morning in Beloit. It's the city's fourth shooting in 12 days, following a homicide at the end of March and two shootings within 10 hours of each other earlier this month.

"We're seeing a little bit of an increase in our gun violence," Dan Molland, a captain with the Beloit Police Department, said. "It's critically important, at this stage of the trend that we're seeing, for us to come together with the community to try to stop the violence from occurring."

Beloit isn't alone in seeing more violent crime recently. CNN reports major cities in the U.S. saw homicides increase by 33% in 2020.

Molland said experts have a theory about why the uptick is happening now.

"A lot of it, they say, can be addressed to the whole COVID-19 stuff that, you know, people have been cooped up in their residence not being able to be outside," he said.

Beloit police are hoping to curb the violence by strengthening their bonds with the community.

"We really need to collaborate with the community," Molland said. "They're our eyes and ears out there, and we need to all come together to stop this from occurring."

Right now, police are asking anyone with information related to the recent shootings to share information about the crimes.

"Without the community's help, it makes our job very difficult to not only solve and investigate these crimes, but to try to prevent them from occurring in the future," Molland said.

He said people shouldn't worry about if their tip is too small or if someone else has already shared that information.

"We'd rather receive the same information 20 times than not receive that information at all," he said. "Even if it's a small piece of information, we would like to have that information because that might be the piece that we're missing that we need."

Anyone wanting to report information can call the non-emergency number at (608) 757-2244. Police can also take anonymous tips via Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 362-7463 or online at www.p3tips.com/482

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Caroline Dade

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist, 27 News

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