In an effort to reduce gun violence, police in Beloit, Wisconsin, have kicked off a new initiative asking residents to volunteer to allow police to search their homes for guns.
"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,” said Police Chief Norm Jacobs.
Skeptical that people will actually call, Jacobs' hope is that the ones who do will allow the cops to find guns that residents did not even know were there.
“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.”
Seven people have been the victims of seven gun homicides in Beloit in 2014.
The problem with weapons in Beloit, as well as with many communities, is a very serious issue. People were looking for some leadership to do something and so we said, “Well, let's see if we can help people make themselves safer.” They can actually take responsibility for the violence that they are so scared of out in the neighborhood. Eight police, 16 police, 60 police driving around in your community are not going to do as much as a community that will do everything they can to try to prevent violence ... We try to find weapons in cars where these things occur, but these weapons are also in these persons' households, and there's some people in Beloit that don’t know that they are in their house and being used for crimes.