Merced Police Chief Thomas Cavallero has announced plans to retire this December. Chief Cavallero has served in law enforcement for 37 years.
Cavallero was named Merced Police Chief in 2020. Before his appointment, he served in the Merced County Sheriff’s Department for 35 years and held the ranks of deputy, sergeant, commander, and undersheriff before becoming sheriff-coroner in 2013.
“There never seems to be the right time to announce a retirement when you’ve committed your career to serve a community you believe in,” stated Cavallero. Joining the City of Merced as chief of police for this chapter of my career has been rewarding. With the work we’ve accomplished toward creating effective, service-oriented community policing programs, it is the right time for a new leader. I look forward to watching the Department continue to advance its culture of professionalism and community connection.”
Under Cavallero’s leadership, the Department enhanced initiatives focusing on community policing, which includes a re-established district officer position in the Downtown area with plans for other placements. Regular meetings with residents, community service, and faith-based organizations to collaboratively identify and problem-solve local challenges and increase safety for residents. Placement of a community liaison to enhance the Department’s outreach approach to relationship improvements. A reimagined community academy to offer greater awareness of law enforcement’s role in our community through education and engagement. Expanded use of technologies like body-worn and vehicle cameras to improve officer safety and transparency. Reopening of the South Merced substation and development of a Downtown substation to house Investigations, Gang Violence Suppression, Code Enforcement, and the Disruptive Area Response Team (DART). In addition, the substation includes Behavioral Health, Valley Crisis Center, and Adult Protective Services staff.
“Chief has dedicated his career to serving the residents of our community and supporting a staff of sworn and non-sworn personnel,” stated Merced Mayor Matthew Serratto. His support for programs that have connected law enforcement and our community has enhanced relationships with our residents.”
“It has been an honor working alongside Chief Cavallero,” said Merced City Manager Stephanie Dietz. He has introduced innovative solutions to address our community’s most demanding public safety challenges. In addition, the chief’s efforts to build trust and accountability along with community partnerships that enhance our outreach services will leave a lasting legacy.”
Cavallero will serve as police chief through December 2022 and work with the city manager and council to further their public safety priorities as a comprehensive community service priority while the City searches for its successor.