About Scott Savage
There is one thing that police officers and police critics can agree on: cops need proper training. Whether it is viral videos of officers making poor decisions or instances where officers are attacked, the right training beforehand can often save careers and save lives. That is why the mission of the Savage Training Group is to present advanced training courses for law enforcement officers. Our instructors are not only law enforcement professionals themselves; they are also skilled and passionate teachers. Together we help officers advance their careers, become experts, and save lives.
I began my career in public safety at age 19, first as an E.M.T and next as a licensed paramedic working in a busy emergency medical system. In 1999, I became a police officer with the Palo Alto Police Department in California. I spent 18 years with Palo Alto PD where I was fortunate enough to work a lot of great assignments including Patrol, F.T.O., Special Problems Team (narcotics, vice, surveillance), assignment on a Regional SWAT team and a full-time assignment to the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (terrorism task force) where I was granted an FBI Top Secret security clearance and promoted to Training Coordinator. I spent the last seven years with Palo Alto PD as a Sergeant, where I served as the Incident Commander for critical incidents and regularly supervised the police response to in-progress situations. I was also a Team Leader of the Crisis Negotiation Team where I was responsible for supervising negotiators and peacefully resolving incidents. After a great career with Palo Alto PD, I joined the Santa Clara Police Department (CA) as an Officer and I continue to serve there today.
Working all those different assignments gave me a breadth of experience to draw from as I train law enforcement officers today. I have long been obsessed with training. My first experience writing a course curriculum was in 2005, when I authored terrorism response course. I went on to instruct that course for hundreds of officers teaching them how to respond to a weapons of mass destruction incident. In 2007, I even won “The Bronze Level Training Award” by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security for my work in presenting terrorism response training. I really love teaching seasoned cops but getting to teach academy recruits was an incredibly special time for me because of their contagious passion to learn. In 2007, I became a lead instructor with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Justice Training Center teaching topic such as de-escalation, patrol procedures and responding to unusual occurrences. The academy recruits twice picked me as their “Most Inspirational Instructor”. Winning those awards allowed to give a short speech at their graduation ceremonies. I seized the opportunity to remind the recruits that they will deal with some extremely dangerous people when they hit the streets and asked that they be careful.
Part of providing quality training is studying the mechanics of training delivery. In 2009, I completed the Master Exercise Planning Practitioner (MEPP) program at the FEMA training facility in Maryland. The MEPP program certifies students in all methods of training delivery from simple tabletop trainings to complex full-scale exercises. At the time, I was 1 of only 250 police officers in the U.S. to have completed the program and it was an honor to learn alongside professionals from all over the country. In 2021 I was chosen by the International Law Enforcement Training Network’s Instructor of the Year. I now sit on their advisory board which gives me the chance to network with some of the best instructors around.
I am one of those odd people who enjoys public speaking and it has been my pleasure to speak at law enforcement conferences like the 2022 Force Science Conference and for private industry. Much like the law enforcement industry, those in private industry are hungry for high-quality training and I am fortunate to get to step out of my law enforcement role and into helping private clients.
While speaking to students in a classroom or at a conference is great, I also wanted to reach people on a larger scale which is what drove me to become published. I have had two articles published in the National Tactical Officer’s Association’s publication called The Tactical Edge. The Tactical Edge is widely considered the leading trade publication for law enforcement special operations and both articles were about the law enforcement response to critical incidents. You can read one of those articles here.
It really is humbling when a podcast host calls and asks for an interview. If you would like to hear some of those, you’ll find the links to several episodes in the Articles page here.
One reason I think I am an effective trainer is that I continue to be a working law enforcement officer even to this day. I regularly respond to the very same types of incidents that we discuss in our trainings. Students get the benefit of an instructor who can constantly update his materials based upon on-going real-world experiences. But even more important, the reason that this company is effective is because of the team we have. The Savage Training Group is made up of law enforcement professionals who are also talented instructors. We are obsessed with providing the best training, no matter what. For example, when the COVID-19 crisis occurred in early 2020, we had to pause all our in-person training courses. That, however, did not stop us! We immediately began creating modern online courses and webinars so we could still deliver great training. One example of that is the online version of our popular Response to the Non-Criminal Barricade: Disengagement and Special Relationships® course. I am thrilled we were able to present a modern and engaging course that is completely online. I am so proud of the work all of our instructors are doing. Make sure to check out all the great courses we have planned but know that there are plenty more in the works. Here’s to the future!