Meet Andre Sayles: Beloit’s first minority police chief

Capt. Sayles will be sworn in as chief this spring.
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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BELOIT, Wis. (WMTV) - The City of Beloit is making history in the appointment of its next police chief, Captain Andre Sayles.

“Being the first minority chief of police here in the City of Beloit is a great honor,” said Capt. Sayles.

He first joined the Beloit police force in 2005 as a patrol officer. Sayles was promoted to sergeant in 2013, lieutenant in 2017 and finally to captain in 2020.

Captain Sayles says he was inspired to become a police officer from a young age when he was growing up in Aurora, Illinois.

“I remember having encounters with police officers and they would always assume that we were doing something wrong. What we were trying to do is just leave those neighborhoods to go play basketball or play football outside of where the activity was happening,” recalled Sayles.

He says his own experiences made him reflect on how ways to change the culture.

“How I can really make that change is being on the inside?” said Sayles. “From being targeted as a young man and understanding that we as cops need to do better and understand where people are coming from.”

Sayles believes young people of color need role models in more positions of power like his.

“There’s nothing wrong with being a police officer and working hard like I’ve done to be a chief of police,” said Sayles. “Having that opportunity to be at the big table and make those critical decisions is how we change and make those reforms in policing.”

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

He currently oversees the City of Beloit Police Department’s Patrol Division, Tactical Operations Unit, Crisis Negotiations Unit, Community Service Officers, and community outreach efforts. Sayles holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Iowa Wesleyan University. He currently is seeking his Masters of Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Criminal Justice Management from UW-Platteville.

Capt. Sayles will be sworn in as chief this spring.

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