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Monday, 01 December 2014 00:00

Beloit police offer home weapons inspections

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Do you suspect there's a gun in your house? The Beloit Police Department would like to help you find out.

The department is offering an unusual program where they will come to your home and, "legally inspect your house for weapons you may not even know are there," according to a news release.

The initiative is part of department's efforts to curb gun violence in Beloit, according to Police Chief Norm Jacobs. The city has seen a spike in gun violence in 2014 with seven gunshot fatalities this year.

Police are directing the efforts at parents and property managers, according to the news release.

Although the news release doesn't come out directly and say it, the initiative appears to be focused on parents who suspect their children may be hiding weapons in the house.

To help in Beloit or in any community, the parents or manager of the property need to identify, secure or remove available weapons, Jacobs wrote in the news release.

Here's more from the news release:

"As part of the community, to stop the violence effort, the Beloit Police Department is offering the opportunity of a home visit by a Beloit Police Officer to legally inspect your house for weapons you may not even know are there.

"If you are interested in this program, simply call to request a visit by a Beloit Police Officer. An officer will respond to your house when available, verify you are authorized to give consent and ask you to sign a form. Then, the officer will go through the areas, you designate, with you to look for weapons.

"Call (608) 364-6801 to start the process.

"Home owners and parents who have weapons in their home should be sure these weapons are recorded and safely secured. At times these weapons are stolen to be used as crime guns in communities throughout the Midwest.

"At worst, these weapons are used in the fit of rage by family members to settle scores or by individuals who are experiencing a temporary mental crisis that turns tragic and permanent.

"Chief Jacobs said 'there is no single course of action for preventing gun violence in any community. We do not expect a flood of phone calls asking the police to make home visits looking for hidden weapons in the citizens homes; however, we have to start somewhere.

"'Making the offer should get people thinking what weapons they have in their home, where are they located, and how they are secured before it is too late. In 2010, gun fire took the lives of 31,672 Americans. We need to consider potential crime guns as if they were the Ebola Virus and deal with them similarly to a health care issue.

"'Police departments in our communities need to do what they do best to solve crimes and to prevent them in the future. This is just one of the ways your local police departments can help the conversation.'"

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