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District welcomes new police chief

Police+Chief+Larry+Savidge+addresses+concerns+around+the+campus+and+community.
Police Chief Larry Savidge addresses concerns around the campus and community.

Police Chief Larry Savidge addresses concerns around the campus and community.

Kainoa Nunez

Kainoa Nunez

Police Chief Larry Savidge addresses concerns around the campus and community.

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Sacramento Community College District welcomed its new district police Chief Larry Savidge, originally hailing from Orange County, CA.

Savidge spent 30 years providing police services in the military as a part of the Air Force, where he honed his skills in working with that community before moving on to Director of Public Safety at Trident Technical College in South Carolina. He spent the next eight years there before heading back to California and joining with the Sacramento police.

The newly appointed chief is concerned with building relationships with the students on campus and committed to providing the students with a safe environment in which to learn and grow.

“He seems eager and attentive to the department and the needs of the district,” said Sgt. Michael Olson.

The newly-appointed Savidge is eager to continue to build inroads with the community by working with students and staff of the college, saying, “Campus law is more proactive than reactive.”

However, Savidge faces his share of challenges, both internally and externally to the campus police force itself.

“Firstly, there is a challenge of staffing the department,” said Savidge “We have 33 in the department and we are short about ten, due to all sorts of problems, some self inflicted. All agencies are hurting.”

“We are having trouble hiring quality people because quality people don’t want to be police,” Savidge said.

Savidge is also aware of Sacramento’s current political climate.

”Things have changed a lot in the last in the last 10 years. If you look back at the 90s and 80s, there was a war on drugs, that was a lot of the focus in law enforcement, Going into 2020, this era here, our current challenges are more social,” said Savidge. “We’re dealing with a lot of social issues that are difficult to navigate.”

Janice Ayin, a 22-year-old film major, said she grew up with a different perception of police.

“Growing up, I’ve always had a fear[of police] . Maybe it’s from the neighborhood I grew up in, I just have a bad reaction,” said Ayin.

Whatever the obstacles, Savidge remains steadfast in his goals.

“We try to be involved in communities by establishing relationships with community members. This trust facilitates a proactive response to problems on campus,” Savidge said. He plans to achieve this “by being present, talking to students, talking to staff. It’s important that the officers seems approachable.”

Savidge also hears the concerns of those who feel less represented such as Black Lives Matter members.

“Too many police officers don’t look like the communities they are serving and aren’t from the communities they serve,” said Savidge.

Savidge empathises with the students who are DACA recipients or Dreamers.

”We are not going to look for undocumented students and will not cooperate with [ICE] unless they have a warrant, per federal law,” said Savidge.

Savidge said he is passionate about making the place safe where students learn.

*Story has been edited on May 7 2018.

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District welcomes new police chief