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Beloit’s next police chief rose through the ranks from patrol officer

The Beloit Police & Fire Commission appointed Capt. Andre Sayles as Beloit police chief...
The Beloit Police & Fire Commission appointed Capt. Andre Sayles as Beloit police chief Wednesday.(City of Beloit)
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 3:30 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2021 at 3:55 PM CDT
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BELOIT, Wis. (WMTV) - A Beloit Police Department captain was unanimously selected as the next chief of the agency, the City of Beloit announced Wednesday.

The Beloit Police and Fire Commission appointed captain Andre Sayles to lead the department, who first joined the Beloit police force in 2005 as a patrol officer. Sayles had been previously promoted to sergeant in 2013, lieutenant in 2017 and finally to captain in 2020.

“We are extremely pleased that after a nationwide search, we had two internal candidates rise to the top and remain there until the end,” said commission president Rongal Watson. “This really speaks to the quality of the public servants that we have working for us in our community at the Beloit Police Department.”

Capt. Sayles said it was an honor to follow those who had previously lead the department.

“I am looking forward to continuing that work in the department and in the city,” said Sayles. “My passion is for community policing and doing my part to build a stronger and safer community for all people.”

Sayles’ three short term goals for the department are to reduce crime, improve community trust and implement a peer-support program.

“Our department needs to be accessible to our community; we often respond to people in crisis on the worst day of their lives, so building those relationships now is crucial for our department,” said Sayles. “We need to use our de-escalation tactics, hone our skills, and ultimately listen to our community members so that we are being good stewards of the people we are sworn to protect and serve.”

Sayles also encouraged the community to collaborate with officers in order to deter violence, which will include a plan to focus on community-based policing.

In announcing Sayles as the next chief, Watson explained that the commission held a community discussion last week for residents to learn more about the finalists.

“I’ve had the distinct pleasure of witnessing Capt. Sayles’ character and commitment to the community over the last few years, and I am overjoyed that he will represent the Beloit Police Department to the entire city,” said Watson.

Sayles will be sworn in as chief this spring.

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