Police Chief Savano began his career with the Petaluma Police Department on August 15, 1994. His first two assignments on the street included foot patrol and bicycle patrol in downtown Petaluma. Very early in his career, he was recognized as a law enforcement leader. As an officer with only two years on, he was selected to coordinate and implement the Department’s first full-time Traffic Safety Program. Within two years, he pursued grant funding and created a Traffic Safety Program that expanded to include a Motorcycle Team and DUI enforcement strategies that became one of the highest acclaimed law enforcement programs in the county.
Police Chief Savano’s dedication and commitment to public safety and his personal character earned him recognition as Officer of the Year in 1998. In 1999, he was selected to join the Motorcycle Team and continued his efforts to reduce fatal and injury collisions. He was also selected to join the Crisis Response Unit in 1999, performing a vital role as crisis negotiator in the field on critical incidents.
Police Chief Savano was promoted to Sergeant in 2002 and served as a patrol team supervisor and as the supervisor of the Hostage Negotiations Team (HNT). His contributions as HNT Sergeant resulted in team development and readiness that was recognized by law enforcement agencies throughout the region.
Police Chief Savano also served as the supervisor of the Police Canine Program. While supervising both specialty teams, he managed the annual Police Canine Competition and the annual HNT Community Golf Tournament. His commitment to our Department and our community ultimately earned him an assignment as the Motor Sergeant for our Traffic Team in 2008.
As Sergeant of the Traffic Team, Police Chief Savano earned some of the most significant recognition of his career. He and his team earned many formal commendations and awards from the International Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Challenge, the California Law Enforcement Challenge, the California Office of Traffic Safety, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). These recognitions from regional, state and the national level continued for each one of the six years he served as the Traffic Sergeant. Police Chief Savano and his team led the “AVOID the 13” Sonoma County DUI Task Force for six years and his team was responsible for developing the most innovative and effective DUI reduction strategies in the state and across the country. Those enforcement and education strategies reduced fatal and injury alcohol-involved collisions county-wide by more than 70%.
In July 2014, he was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the Patrol Division where, in addition to his patrol teams, he also managed the Field Training Program and Police Canine Team. He was also selected as a Management Advisory Group (MAG) representative for the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Consortium.
In November 2014, Police Chief Savano was assigned to the Petaluma Policing Division responsible for professional standards, personnel, public relations, technology, social media, department support, school support, volunteers, mental health and homelessness.
In June 2016, in addition to his command of Petaluma Policing, he was asked to assume a leadership role in the Operations Division again as a Patrol Lieutenant and was responsible for the Eastside of Petaluma for District Policing.
Police Chief Savano earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. He graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute in 2005, completed the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Leadership Development course in 2013 and the POST Management Development Course in 2015. He is also a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA), California Police Chief’s Association (CPCA), International Association of Chief’s of Police, California Peace Officers Association (CPOA), National Tactical Officer’s Association (NTOA), and the California Association of Hostage Negotiators (CAHN). Chief Savano is a member of CPCA Technology Advisory Committee and a graduate of Leadership Petaluma sponsored by the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to his law enforcement commitments, Chief Savano is active in the Petaluma community along with his wife Kathleen. Chief Savano is a member of the Petaluma Sunrise Rotary Club, Petaluma Elks Lodge 901 and is a board member for the Salvation Army, Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Committee On The Shelterless (COTS). Chief Savano also supports Mentor Me Petaluma as a mentor, Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), Petaluma Boys and Girls Club, Special Olympics, Avon 39 – The Walk To End Breast Cancer, and has served as a law enforcement liaison to United Anglers of Casa Grande High School and the Adobe Creek Restoration Project.