Working together to end the threat

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Strong performance brought accused suspect into custody and restored order.

THIS AREA IS NO stranger to crime, but mostly its the run-of-the-mill variety — burglaries, thefts, drugs, domestic abuse, the occasional homicide.

That made the strange case of suspect Joseph Jakubowski of Janesville all the more frightening. Not since the serial killings — two in Beloit, four in Rockford — committed by Ray Lee Stewart in 1981 had any criminal activity placed residents so on edge, for good reason.

Jakubowski is accused of breaking in and stealing a large cache of weapons from a Janesville gun store, and issuing a political manifesto that threatened violence against schools, public officials and government authorities. With Easter approaching last week, there were even hints that church-goers should be afraid.

SO IT WAS WITH great relief the region learned Friday that Jakubowski had been taken into custody during the early morning hours in a rural area of southwestern Wisconsin. The threat is over.

Credit for bringing this saga to a non-violent end belongs to many people.

Closest to home the Rock County Sheriffs Department and Janesville Police Department were the lead agencies. The Beloit Police Department and other agencies ramped up security for several days at schools, public buildings and other places people gather. State of Wisconsin law enforcement agencies were active participants, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies of the U.S. government.

This is why people pay taxes — and why law enforcement professionals command respect.

When the times turn ugly, when danger is felt most acutely, these are the men and women who stand between good people and the bad guys.

Their professionalism, long hours, hard work and dogged devotion to the public should be appreciated — today, and every day.

WHICH BRINGS US to the good people throughout the region and beyond who did their best to help law enforcement put an end to the threat.

More than 700 tips were received by police, and one finally paid off by helping to locate the fugitive Jakubowski.

Thats how it is supposed to work. Police cant be everywhere. Police cant know everything. Police cant protect society without the cooperation and help of a willing public.

Pay attention. See something. Say something.

Sounds simple, but some people wont do it. Some celebrate inaction as being “anti-snitch.” Whatever one calls it, failing to provide information or help is a direct contributor to societal decline. Dont be part of that.

The Jakubowski story illustrates how good people and professionals can work together for the betterment of all.

A job well done.

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