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2 months ago

Crime, calls for service down slight in South Beloit in 2020 – Beloit Daily News

SOUTH BELOIT – Overall crime and calls for services were down in 2020 in the City of South Beloit, as Police Chief Adam Truman said the department looks forward to outreach to the community as life slowly returns to normal after a tumultuous year.

Total calls for service decreased by 3% in 2020 from 2019, from 6,460 responses to 6,271, department data shows.

The city’s crime index decreased from 147 incidents in 2019 to 140 in 2020 (5% decrease) and arrests were also down as 138 arrests were made in 2019 compared to 93 in 2020.

Some violent crimes were up in 2020 compared to 2019. Aggravated sexual assault increased from one incident in 2019 to three incidents in 2020 and robberies increased from one incident in 2019 to five in 2020, department data shows. Burglaries also increased from 16 incidents in 2019 to 19 incidents in 2020.

There were no homicides in 2020 or 2019. One officer-involved death was reported in 2020 following an Aug. 23, 2020 crash in which patrol officer Sawyer Kurth struck Michael Guzman, 35, of Rockford, with his patrol vehicle while Guzman was walking along Blackhawk Boulevard.

No criminal charges were filed against Kurth in the incident by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office but a civil lawsuit filed by Guzman’s estate seeks restitution from the city.

Overall, traffic crashes responded to by South Beloit police decreased 37% from 2019 to 2020 as 155 crashes were investigated in 2019 compared to 97 crashes investigated last year.

Truman said he felt the data was “consistent” with past years, noting that the pandemic did not impact the department internally but prevented external interaction with the community.

“Internally we did our best by increasing awareness and practices such as wearing protective equipment and keeping our distance when feasible,” Truman said. “I’m proud of our department for being committed to our citizens and profession by doing whatever it takes to get the job done during these unique circumstances.”

In 2021, Truman said the department will transfer all evidence in the department’s old reporting system to a new records management program, coupled with the department changing how it reports and catalogs crime data through an updated reporting system with the FBI.

Switching from paper records to digital records has also been an ongoing project for the department since last year, with Truman estimating the department could be caught up by the end of this year while adhering to all state records management requirements for disposing of certain records.

With the pandemic appearing to slow down, Truman said he hopes the department will be able to return to hosting community events such as the National Night Out to boost community engagement.

“We love our community and love being involved, however right now it’s difficult to do anything because we don’t want to put ourselves or the community at a higher risk of exposure,” Truman said. “We’re looking forward to getting back to normal so we can be more engaging with our community.”

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