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Petaluma Police Department
Sunday May 31st, 2020 :: 10:16 a.m. PDT


A Message Regarding Our Police/Community Relations

To our Petaluma Community:
I write to you this morning after another night of protests impacted your Police Officers last night. Sadly, what had been a peaceful protest yesterday in Santa Rosa turned violent and unlawful last night.  Several of your Petaluma officers responded to an emergency call for help last night in Santa Rosa just after 11pm and stood alongside peace officers from all over Sonoma County to keep the Santa Rosa community safe.  I am happy to report your officers safely returned to Petaluma early this morning. 
We have seen peaceful demonstrations here in Petaluma.  We continue to proactively communicate with event organizers and we have been assured they will remain peaceful with social distancing and respect for the entire community by abiding by the rules of the road and the laws regarding peaceful assembly.   My staff has been maintaining a presence in the area of the peaceful demonstrations to protect the constitutional rights of everyone, especially those who will gather to express their feelings about the tragic death of George Floyd.  As our community moves through this event, I call on all community members to demonstrate respect and compassion for one another.  Property damage and violence will not be tolerated.
As your Police Chief, I want to express my own thoughts and feelings regarding what I saw occur in Minneapolis.  Like my staff, I am sickened, outraged, and saddened by the death of George Floyd.  Our nation and our profession of law enforcement continues to be challenged by inexplicable and inexcusable deaths of community members.  Although this current incident occurred many states away, the action or inaction by the involved officers has eroded the very same public trust we have worked so hard to achieve.  This incident reflects poorly on our entire profession of law enforcement.
What we all saw occur in Minneapolis is not only completely against the mission, vision, and values of your Petaluma Police Department, but also our training, tactics, and professionalism with which our officers serve the community of Petaluma each and every day they come to work.   I find hope in knowing that Petaluma Police Department officers receive the best and most current training available and they demonstrate daily de-escalation and sound judgement when discharging their duties.  Your officers train and use tactics with the intent to reduce harm, not to create it.  Your officers answer calls for help, not ignoring their pleas.  Your officers work to support each other by being informal leaders speaking up during tough times, not standing by if other officers act inappropriately.  As a department our training, tactics, and policies demonstrate our commitment to our community’s values, increases the professionalism of our organization, and hopefully continues to work to earn our communities continued support and trust.
At the Petaluma Police Department, we will continue to focus on our commitment to the values, ethical standards, and priorities of our City leaders, our Department, and our community.  We will continue to do everything we can to provide exceptional and professional service to every community member by providing everyone with the opportunity to have voice, by remaining neutral, showing everyone dignity and respect, and by being trustworthy and the having the goodwill of others in mind before ourselves.  Your officers have been incorporating the practices of procedural justice and police legitimacy long before they were given the same name.  Through shared understanding, open dialogue, and building relationships with community members we share the mutual respect necessary to move forward through challenging times as a community.
As your Police Chief, I am proud of the work your Petaluma Police Officers do each and every day.  Just as we saw last night in Santa Rosa, I see their courage, dedication, and commitment to the community which they serve.  Seeing the acts and inaction of officers as we did in Minneapolis is incredibly frustrating for all of us at the Petaluma Police Department.  I am confident that the our officers will continue to focus on improving the quality of life for every community member in Petaluma as we continue to build and maintain community trust by making positive differences in lives and safety of those we serve.
As our community works through the emotions of this tragic event, know that we as law enforcement professionals stand with you, feeling the same pain, anger, and frustration.  Let us all work together to make positive change and focus on keeping Petaluma a safe and peaceful place for everyone.
Yours in service,
Ken Savano, Chief of Police
Petaluma Police Department

Petaluma Police Department
969 Petaluma Blvd N
Petaluma, CA 94952

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-778-4372

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