Jim Saso is back at the helm of the Williams Police Department.
Saso was sworn in as Williams Chief of Police on Monday, replacing former Chief Ed Anderson, who resigned March 18 while under an internal investigation.
Saso has been serving as Colusa County Assistant Sheriff to Sheriff Joe Garofalo since 2015, but current and former Williams officials said the city needed him more.
“We are so glad to have him back,” said former Mayor Pat Ash, who was on the City Council when Saso served as both police chief and acting city manager. “We need him here.”
Saso stated his law enforcement career with with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, and graduated from the Sacramento Regional Public Safety Training Center in 1991.
He served as a deputy sheriff with Colusa County Sheriff’s Office from 1994 to 2001, and worked a number of special assignments including narcotics, school resources officer, impact weapons instructor, and served as a member of the Special Operations and Response Team.
Saso was first hired to the Williams Police Department in 2001, was promoted to lieutenant in 2003, and was first sworn in as the city’s top cop in 2006, serving under serveral mayors, including John Troghton, who remains on the City Council.
Saso said he was looking forward to serving under Mayor Alfred Sellers, who was among many who attended the ceremony to watch Saso retake his oath of office.
“I am humbled and honored to be back here to support this city, the city council and city staff,” Saso said.
Following the ceremony, Saso recognized the dedication of the officers and staff of the Williams Police Department, who for the past three months have worked tirelessly and sacrificed time off with the families to keep police services going smoothly while an internal investigation was underway that had the police chief, sergeant, K-9 officer, and service technitian off on administrative leave.
“They worked to fulfill the mission of this city and police department to protect the citizens, and that’s the kind of group I want to work for,” Saso said.
Although Saso acknowleged that his plans are to retire in a few years, he said he could better serve law enforcement and the citizens of Williams by restoring stability to the police department, which has had two police chiefs and one interim chief since 2015.
“With small agencies, you can’t keep going through police chiefs,” said Saso, who served at the helm nearly 10 years before departing. “It’s difficult for the city; it’s difficult for the agency; and it’s difficult for the culture of the organization because every chief has differnet goals.”
Saso said leaving the Sheriff’s Office was a difficult decision, but he felt it was more important, toward the end of his law enforcement career, to leave a department that functions well under current leadership and staff to resume command of the Williams Police Department, where he can help guide a smooth transition toward the future.
“If we can develop good people and prepare for the future, then the city and the department will be in good shape,” Saso said. “It’s good to be back.” ■