Lou Trovato is more than just Nevada City Chief of Police
I first met Police Chief Lou Trovato playing his trumpet in front of Confectionately Yours, along with four members of trumpet section of the NUHS band, at Victorian Christmas 2001. When I complimented the loveliness of the five trumpets in harmony, playing all the old favorites, he confessed that he had shown up at the high school that afternoon with the music and a plea to the musicians to join him on the street that night. They did. I guess when the chief of police shows up at your school looking for you, you do what he says. In this case, it created some beautiful sounds that chilly December night that really added to the holiday spirit.
Before moving to Nevada City seven years ago to take over as Chief of Police, Trovato spent 29 years with the Los Angeles Police Department. A native of California, he holds a master’s degree in negotiation and conflict management.
“My wife and I absolutely love living here,” he said.
During our recent interview, Trovato fielded interruptions, even answering the phone once, when no one else could get to it, explaining that they were short handed that day.
Changes he is proud of since he came to Nevada City? In 1998, an ordinance prohibiting drinking on the streets was instituted. “No drinking on the streets has limited the obnoxious drinkers, fights, loitering, trash and made Nevada City a better place to live and to visit,” he said.
He also has been able to add two more police officers to the staff, totaling 11 full time officers and five reserve officers. “It’s a great community and is getting even better,” he said.
He is a strong believer in communication as the key to resolving problems. He has personally called parents to talk with them about their kids and gotten excellent results.
Trovato participates in many local organizations including the 49er Fire Auxiliary, Nevada City Elks, 49er Rotary Club and the Masonic Lodge.
He also spends an hour a week tutoring a student at Seven Hills in a rotary sponsored program.
“It makes me feel good to help a child who needs something extra. It also teaches the kids that police don’t just carry a big stick and yell a lot, that we do a lot more things than that,” Trovato said.
He also plays the trumpet in the Nevada County concert band and
the Sierra Gold Big Band.
Trovato praised how well the different public service agencies work together in the county. “We meet at least once a month officially, and unofficially, weekly, all of us, including the forestry services. We also all participate in a yearly training, at the fairgrounds. We practice emergency scenarios, doing cross agency training, with a sheriff, a CHP and local police, for example,” he said.
“It’s great to get the support of the Nevada County Police and Fire Protection Council and to know that our community supports our
efforts,” he said.
“I’m proud to be part of the public safety representatives of this county. They do an outstanding job for the community at large.”
Speaking of the $80,000 that Bill and Susan Drown took to New York after the 9/11 attack, Trovato said: “It goes to show you how much the people here have concern for others.”
In his previous job, he wrote up 40 to 60 homicides per year. When asked how many we have here per year? “Here, none. That’s the way it should be,” he smiled.
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