Mayor Andre F. Harvey
A respected and well known 50-year resident and public servant in the Village of Bellwood, Andre Harvey embodies the perseverance, commitment and optimism that has made the village a great place for families to live, work and play. Harvey made history as Bellwood’s first African-American firefighter and fire chief and since being elected mayor in April 2017, made history again as the town’s first African-American mayor.
Over the past 29 years, Harvey has excelled in a number of visible roles in town, currently as director of Public Safety where he benefits from his experience in multiple safety and law enforcement roles to manage the village’s Police and Fire departments and the Bellwood Office of Emergency Management (BOEM).
Harvey has worked hard and smart as a motivating leader to move the village forward dating back to 1988 when he joined the Bellwood Fire Department as a firefighter. For the next eight years he performed at high levels in the department as an emergency medical technician, public education specialist, fire investigator, peace officer and arson investigator. In 1996 he was appointed Bellwood fire chief and led the department in a number of advancements for the next 18 years. During his tenure, he led the Fire Department in upgrading basic ambulance service to advanced service, which included the village’s emergency medical technicians becoming certified as paramedics.
In 2010, as fire chief and while still maintaining certification as a police officer, he was promoted to director of Public Safety and took on the additional responsibilities of managing the more than 50-officer police department and BOEM.
In1996, Harvey’s commitment to moving the village forward led him to create a successful mentoring program for troubled young men, which lead to the formation of the Lady Dribblers girls basketball/mentoring program. Both programs continue to motivate youth. He is the founding director of the Bellwood Teen Zone, the first facility in Proviso Township for youth to study and socialize under adult supervision in a dedicated facility.
He earned an associate degree in fire technology from Triton Junior College; a bachelor’s degree in fire management from Southern Illinois University; and a master’s degree in management from Keller School of Management.
Firmly entrenched in the fabric of Bellwood, Harvey is a graduate of the District 88 and 209 schools (Thurgood Marshall Elementary – formerly Roosevelt Elementary and Roosevelt Junior High), Harvey graduated from Proviso West High School. He joined the U.S. Army in 1982 and served for three years as a military food service specialist, winning numerous awards and commendations for outstanding service. He ascended to the rank of sergeant where he supervised military and civilian personnel before being honorably discharged in 1985.
Active in a number of local civic, professional and non-profit organizations, Harvey is a member of the Illinois Police Chief Association and Illinois Fire Chiefs Association. He is a former member of the Bellwood Kiwanis Club, Bellwood Lions Club, African American Fire Fighters Association and Memorial Park District. His local connections also include attending the Boys and Girls Club of Bellwood as a youth and later volunteering at the club, and coaching the Memorial Park Spartans football and Wildcats basketball teams. For more than 10 years, he has served as a volunteer coach for the girls’ basketball team at Walther Lutheran High School.