Longtime Beloit police officer Daniel Daly spent years mentoring young officers while taking pride in serving the community.
Now the Beloit Police Department is mourning Daly, 48, who died Monday from COVID-19. He served in the department since May 1997 and worked third shift.
But that’s not what Beloit Police Chief Andre Sayles said Daly should be remembered for. Beloit’s top cop said Daly, who was known as “Wolf” around the department, should be remembered as an officer who always brought compassion and kindness to work every day.
“He was a meticulous officer who would never rush and he was always thorough in his police work,” Sayles said. “He was a very compassionate person. He would always take the time to listen to people and their issues. He always just listened and was there for people. He would answer questions and he went above and beyond taking care of crime victims and even the people that he arrested.”
Daly served as a field training officer, a key role in developing young officers, on the oft-chaotic third shift. Sayles said he remembers some of the advice Daly gave him during his time on third shift that still stays with him today.
“I consider myself to be a hard-charging type of person,” Sayles said. “Dan said anyone can go 100 mph, but when you slow down, that’s when you get to see what is really going on. That stuck with me and made me realize that being careful and thorough in everything you do was so important as a police officer.”
Through the chaos of shootings and other violent incidents, Daly stayed calm, Sayles said.
“Third shift is where you need someone like Dan,” Sayles said. “He was a calming presence for the officers and the victims of crimes. He was even-keel and he was always thinking logically about a situation. I think that he’s going to be truly missed as a person, not just as a police officer.”
A Monroe native and graduate of Argyle High School, Daly went on to UW-Platteville where he graduated with a degree in criminal justice. He started in law enforcement at the Fort Atkinson Police Department and then went to work for the Rockton Police Department and is credited with being one of the original creators of the Rockton Police Association.
In 1996, Daly joined the Metro Center Police Department. At the time of his death, Daly worked as an officer in Beloit and Rockton and Rockford, Illinois. In Beloit, he served as part of the department’s assessment and recruitment team and as an honor guard member.
He is survived by his wife, Bridgett; sons, Geoffrey and Jacob; parents, Thomas and Marilyn Daly of Argyle; siblings, Tom (Michelle) Daly III, Tim (Kathy) Daly, Suzanne (David Trzebiatowski) Daly and Jon (Tara) Daly; mother and father-in-law, Mary Ann and Monroe Thole; brothers and sisters-in-law; nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, other relatives, friends and his forever family, the many members of law enforcement, according to his obituary.