Petaluma Police Department announces new Deputy Chief, other promotions

Lt. Miller is taking over the Deputy Chief position from Tara Salizzoni, who retired this month after more than 20 years with the department.|

The Petaluma Police Department announced several promotions within its ranks, a shakeup ushered in by Deputy Police Chief Tara Salizzoni’s retirement.

Lieutenant Brian Miller is the department’s next Deputy Police Chief, while three other officers are promoted to new positions.

Salizzoni, a 27-year law enforcement veteran and a member of the Petaluma Police Department for 24 years, officially retires July 24.

"While I’m sorry to see her go, we also recognize that change is good and we welcome the opportunity for new leadership,“ said Petaluma Police Chief Ken Savano.

New Deputy Police Chief Brian Miller joined the department in 2005, and has served as a Patrol Officer, Gang Enforcement Officer, Field Training Officer, Crisis Negotiator, Detective and most recently as a Lieutenant. He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and American Military University, and is the ninth Petaluma officer to graduate from the FBI National Academy since 1949.

Miller is also fluent in Spanish and is an adjunct faculty instructor at the Santa Rosa Junior College Public Safety Training Center.

Other reshuffles include the promotion of Sergeant Jeremy Walsh to Police Lieutenant, and Ryan Suhrke’s move from Field Training Officer to Sergeant.

Walsh has been with the department for 18 years, and his most recent role was as Traffic Sergeant and coordinator of the city’s Traffic Safety Program.

Suhrke is a 14-year department veteran, and will assume his new Sergeant role in the Patrol Services Division on night watch.

Additionally, Sergeant Nick McGowan transferred from the Patrol Services Division to the Special Services Division as Traffic Safety Program Supervisor. He joined the department in 2006.

The promotions became effective June 14.

(Contact Kathryn Palmer at, on Twitter @KathrynPlmr.)

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