Editor's Note: You might have seen The Greatest Person of the Day on the Huffington Post. Today, we share with you our second version of this wonderful feature spotlighting ordinary and extraordinary town residents whose acts of courage, determination, volunteerism and compassion have made a difference in Los Gatos and who inspire and energize others to strengthen their communities and improve lives.
Think ordinary people doing extraordinary things for friends, families, groups and others. We'll look for them everywhere, in faith communities, in nonprofit groups, schools, senior centers, firehouses and elsewhere. We'll also consider public figures. There are no age restrictions. We want diversity of age, race, gender, etc., and most important, we ask you, our valued reader, to help us find these outstanding citizens by nominating them.
Imagine donating one day a week in the service of others. Well, that's what Los Gatos resident Scott Savage does week after week, whether he's volunteering with the morning Rotary Club in town or teaching children in different Boy Scout troops how to avoid drugs and make the right choices.
Upon meeting this affable 49-year-old father of two, you would never guess you're talking to a seasoned and accomplished law enforcement investigator with an impressive resume of accomplishments in more than 25 years with the San Jose Police Department.
Rising to the rank of captain in the SJPD, Savage was division commander of the department's bureau of administration responsible for administrative and human relations functions, which included managing the police personnel unit, recruiting officers, screening and selecting personnel and implementing safety initiatives for nearly 1,300 officers.
As a sergeant, he was assigned to covert and tactical responsibilities, including patrol, vice, narcotics, counterterrorism and intelligence. From 2007 to 2010, he oversaw counterterrorism intelligence efforts and mentored a staff of 50 sworn personnel who provided specialized airport security services.
Some of his notable contributions during this service were that he regularly worked with community organizations and neighborhood groups to solve crime and was selected for the FBI's Police Executive Fellowship Program.
He also studied counterterrorism efforts in Israel and has received multiple awards and honors for his police work including the Crimestopper Award from Crimestoppers International.
In September of this year, Savage left the SJPD to continue providing law enforcement services. Due to the confidentiality of his employment, however, he asked Los Gatos Patch to keep the name of his employer private.
He's now president-elect of , serves on the Board of Directors of the , and chaired for eight years the Dads' Club at .
Savage was born in Redwood City and grew up in Cupertino. He earned at bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice administration from San Jose State University and a master's degree in leadership from St. Mary's College in Moraga.
Raised by a college biology professor and a teacher and attorney, he and his two siblings grew up watching parents who were involved in the community. His mom was an active member of the American Association of University Women and served on numerous service organizations. "It was a mindset," Savage says, adding that going into police work was an extension of public service.
He says he learned the value of giving back while participating in the Boy Scouts program.
In 1986, after graduating from college, he began working for the San Jose Police Department rising to the rank of captain.
Savage, along with wife Julianne, moved to Los Gatos in 1996. They decided to make their home here after learning of its excellent schools and tight-knit community, he says. "This is where we wanted to raise our family. There was no question about that."
They have a ninth-grader at and seventh-grader at
He began serving as a parent volunteer when his son entered Louise Van Meter Elementary School. He says the school was looking for dads to serve on the Dads' Club, a group of fathers who got together to barbecue for their children. He said he put his name down on a list to help with the group and the next thing he knew he had been selected to lead the group.
He chaired the club during his children's duration at Van Meter for a total of eight years. "Those were some great times," he recalls.
Some of the work the dads performed included finishing picnic tables, installing a children's tile project permanently affixed to the school building and barbecuing for the entire student body during special functions and running school events.
During those years, his children began playing sports so he found himself coaching soccer and baseball, then joining Rotary and serving on the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Foundation.
He helps the foundation evaluate funding requests giving professional input about why the programs are important to the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department from a practitioner's point of view.
In 2007, he joined the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club, started in 2003. He's among about 200 active members. He's served as secretary for the Wednesday morning service group and will be president next July.
"It's an honor to be associated with people like that. The projects they support all revolve around youth and arts and our community," he notes.
About his passion for serving the town, Savage says: "It really goes back to our decision about this being the right community to live in and raise our family. I'm very protective of this community."