History of BPD

Law Enforcement in Beloit began in 1857 with the creation of a Justice of the Peace, a Sheriff and two Constables.  The population of Beloit was 1,678 and the town was growing with the paper making industry and establishment of Beloit College.  In 1880 the Police Department was called the "Anti Horse-Thief Association" as this must have been one of the biggest concerns of residents!

In 1902 a Police and Fire Commission was formed and the Marshal replaced by a Chief of Police.  In 1940 the department had two Police cars and 31 men, who earned about $100 a month.  There were 4 walking beats and they worked 6 days and then had 2 days off.  The 50's saw many changes with the acquisition of an Ambulance that was operated by Police Officers and our first teletype unit, allowing vehicle and people checks in a short period of time.  The first "speed detection" unit was a time tape that had 2 rubber hoses placed across the street.  When a car hit both tapes, the speed was recorded on a clock that was run using the squad car battery.

In the early 60's ....

  • First radar speed detection device
    Officers were pulled off foot beats and placed in cars
  • 54 sworn Police Officers in department
  • First African American Officer hired in 1963
  • 1966 "Meter Maids" checked parking meters as the downtown is shopping hub of a busy city
  • 1969 non-sworn Dispatchers hired to replace the Officers who worked the "dispatch center"
  • A Breathalyzer machine was installed

The 70's and 80's brought change ....

  • First female Police Officer was hired
  • SWAT Team formed
  • School Liaison Program started at Beloit Memorial High School in 1980
  • 1981 Rock County Metro Unit formed - Undercover Officers fight growing drug trade
  • Evidence Technicians trained to work major crime scenes
    Volk Field April 2010 014.JPG
    as the value of collecting and preserving evidence was being recognized.
  • 91 employees, 68 sworn and 23 non-sworn by 1985
  • Neighborhood Watch Program and Crime Stoppers Program began
  • The department began training employees in Community Policing and Problem-Solving
  • New Beloit Police Mounted Unit with Officers on horseback
  • Began long process to gain National Accreditation
  • Two Harley Davidson motorcycles were purchased for Patrol use
  • Traffic Unit was developed

In the 90's ....

  • Officers are encouraged to park their squad and walk through their "area" to talk and meet with the residents
  • Part-time Foot Patrol Officers used specifically for the Hackett and Merrill neighborhoods
  • All Officers issued bullet-proof vests
  • The Beloit Police Department received the status of National Accreditation on August 1, 1992
  • Stateline Area Narcotic Team was formed in 1995 as a multi-jurisdiction drug unit working to combat drug activity in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin

A major change took place in October of 1993 .... law enforcement agencies in Rock County closed their Dispatch centers and joined the county-wide 9-1-1 system, which was centrally located north of Janesville.

Into the new millennium ....

  • 2000 brought more advances in training and technology
  • Command Officer graduated from FBI National Academy
  • Sergeants attend Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command  
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  • Technology took a step ahead with the addition of an inkless fingerprint system
  • Officers began training with less than lethal weapons and urban police rifles
  • 2004 - ECD's or electronic control devices were added to the officer's tool box.
  • The use of "Mobile Video Recorders" by law enforcement began at the Beloit Police Department
  • 2011 - Police staffing reduced to 72 sworn and 21 non-sworn due to reduction in state shared revenue combined with increases in health costs
  • 2012 - Mobil response teams are trained in the aftermath of Act 10 demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Crisis Intervention Team is introduced to the department as concern for dealing with persons who suffer from mental illness increases across the country
  • Beloit Police Department steps into the social media realm with a Face book page and continued use of NIXLE to notify the community of important occurences
  • Seventh CALEA Accreditation, the largest CALEA accredited police department in Wisconsin
  • First Medal of Valor issued to Officer Nathan Adams
  • Vice President Biden visits Beloit
  • The police department takes over animal control duties once again. It was in the 80's when the department relinquished this service
  • 2013 - The use of body cameras took place and extensive training in Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)
  • 2014 - A third School Resource Officer was added to the department supported by the School District of Beloit. Now there is an officer on each side of town for the intermediates schools and one at Beloit Memorial High School. In technology, we introduced a new Face Book page to the community and increased our use of NIXEL as an emergency warning system for the community. Additional internal and external training was introduced; Question Persuade Response (QPR) Training, Fair and Impartial Policing, Alert training offered by the FBI, Mobile Field Force training, otherwise known as Crowd Control training, was coordinated between Beloit, Janesville and Rock County Sheriff’s Office. We also trained with Forensics Evidence Handling and introduced the new PTO Training Program for recruit officers.
  • 2015 - The opening of Beloit’s first substation in over a decade in the Merrill neighborhood took place on 2/17/2015.Two temporary positions were added, an additional Detective (Amber Davies – 2/16/2015) and a Neighborhood Resource Officer (Adam Rummage – 4/20/2015).The Beloit Police Department received the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group (WILEAG) Certificate of Accreditation on May 4, 2015, for their demonstration of best professional practices in conduct of its responsibilities. New State Mandate Qualification Course (deadline of 6/30/2015) – All sworn officers of the Beloit Police Department will have completed their “duty weapon range training” by June 18, 2015.

Forensic evidence solves crimes ....  The importance of having Officers trained in gathering forensic evidence was proven in 2001 when two serious crimes were solved.  Forensic evidence was used in the Michael Simms homicide to arrest two of three suspects.  Matching DNA from an incarcerated prisoner with the victims clothing solved a rape case from 1998.  This was the first case solved using the multi-state CODIS database.

Beloit Police First in the State ....  We became the first Wisconsin agency to use SMPT format for transferring digitally produced fingerprints to the State of Wisconsin.

                                                CHIEFS OF POLICE 
Charles Qualman 1910 - 1923
L.J. Williams 1924 - 1925
B.F. Lanphear 1926 - 1930
J. Stanley Dietz 1930 - 1933
Daniel G. Torrisi 1933 - 1936
Robert W. Blumer 1937 - 1951
George E. Griffin 1951 - 1963
Howard G. Bjorklund 1963 - 1969
Bernard J. Kakuske 1969 - 1972
Roger D. Helser 1972 - 1976
John M. Mizerka 1977 - 1986
Christopher P. Ebert 1986 - 1990
Terry L. Fell 1991 - 1996
Garry J. Kregelka 1996 - 1998
Richard P. Thomas 1998 - 2003
Sam  W. Lathrop 2003 - 2009
Norman C. Jacobs 2009 - 2016
David B. Zibolski 2015 - 2020
Last updated 12/1/2021 10:34:29 AM