Chief Chris Locke is retiring from the Fairview Heights Police Department, where he has worked for over 28 years.
But he won’t be retired for long. His official retirement date is Sept. 5, and one week later, he will become chief of the Centralia Police Department.
“I am honored to have served the citizens of the community for almost 29 years and to lead some of the most talented and professional officers in the area,” Locke said Wednesday.
In a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page, Fairview Heights Mayor Mark Kupsky congratulated Locke.
“ I would like to thank him for his nearly 29 years of service, his dedication to our citizens, our businesses, and visitors, while always staying committed to keeping our community safe,” the mayor said. “I also wish Chris the best in his retirement and the next chapter of his life”.
Capt. C.J. Beyersdorfer will take over as interim chief of police.
Locke, who is 56, grew up in Kentucky and became interested in law enforcement while in college there. He began his law enforcement career in the U.S. Air Force in 1986. He served eight years on active duty and 20 more years in the reserves, retiring in 2014.
Locke said he ended his active duty at Scott Air Force Base, where “I made some good contacts in the area and was fortunate enough to be hired by Fairview Heights.”
He joined the Fairview Heights Police Department in 1994, working first as a patrol officer. He went on to became a criminal investigator, a patrol sergeant, division commander and lieutenant over patrol, support and investigations, and police captain.
He took over as chief of police in Fairview Heights in 2018. His department includes about 60 people, including sworn officers and civilians.
Locke said his goals have included building a partnership between law enforcement, citizens, business and the community overall, and making sure law enforcement is proactive to ensure public safety.
“We placed a strong emphasis on those two facets,” he said. “ The community,the citizens and the police are really in this together. For us to make an impact, it takes all of us working together.”
Locke spent 28 years, four months with the Fairview Heights Police Department.
He said he will miss a lot of the relationships he has built. “Not just within the police department and the law enforcement community, but with our community members and organizations and of course men and women in the Fairview Heights Police Department.”