Bath Police Dept. taps veteran officer as new lieutenant

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BATH — Bob Savary, a 21-year veteran of the Police Department, was promoted this week to the rank of lieutenant.

Savary replaces Stan Cielinski, who retired earlier this year and is now an investigator at Bath Iron Works.

“Bob is a very well-rounded officer, he’s been here a while, he’s well-respected among his peers here and in the community, and will be a great face for the department,” Chief Mike Field said.

Savary, 44, has been a detective sergeant for the past seven years. He joined the department in 1992, rising through the ranks from officer to corporal, patrol sergeant and detective sergeant, where he also replaced Cielinski.

“I’d missed being in the patrol division,” Savary said. “… I missed the camaraderie in the patrol,” which is under the lieutenant’s direction.

Camaraderie and teamwork drew Savary to police work in the first place.

“Even though we’re a small department, we work well together as a team,” he said. “… Working with somebody; different challenges everyday.”

Early in his career, he said, he was surprised to find the level of disrespect some people had for law enforcement and each other – a problem he feels is getting worse.

“But you quickly learn you work with an agency where everybody … genuinely cares about you; it makes it easy to come to work,” Savary said, noting that overall, the community appreciates the department’s work.

“I’d like to think that we provide good customer service (to the community),” he said.

Savary has received various awards over the years, including recognition for bravery and superior performance in an incident several years ago when police were chasing an armed robber from Waldoboro. During a standoff at the Chandler Drive shopping center the man shot at Savary’s cruiser.

“We went out to apprehend him, and he opened fire on us,” Savary recalled. “(With) another person trying to kill you … it was pretty disconcerting. It shook me a little bit.”

Savary said he takes special pride in training other officers, and watching them rise in the ranks, either in Bath or with other agencies.

Since former Chief Pete Lizanecz created the lieutenant position, the rank has been held by four people: Joel Merry, who is the Sagadahoc County sheriff, Field, Cielinski, and now Savary.

“Those are some tough shoes to fill,” Savary said. “Every day I come to work I’m going to try to be myself, but realize that the guys that have come before me have set the bar, so it’s incumbent upon me to hold that bar high.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

Bob Savary is the Bath Police Department’s newest lieutenant.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.