Find Posts By Topic

Updates to the SPD Leadership Team


The Seattle Police Department would like to announce two command staff changes.

Captain Eric Sano has been named the North Precinct Captain, taking over for Captain Sean O’Donnell who held the position since 2016.  Captain O’Donnell will now head the Traffic Enforcement Unit taking over for Captain Sano.

Captain Eric Sano

Captain Eric Sano began his career with the Seattle Police Department in 1984. He worked primarily in the East Precinct as a patrol officer and was part of the first East Precinct Bicycle Squad. He also worked in ACT and was a Field Training Officer. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1992.

As a Sergeant, he worked Patrol in the West Precinct, both as a car sergeant and a bicycle and footbeat sergeant. He also worked in positions as a Detective Sergeant in the Check Forgery Squad and the Gang Unit.

He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2000, where he was first assigned as an Administrative Lieutenant in the Inspections and Procedures Unit (now the Audit, Policy and Research Section) then moved to the Special Deployment Unit (now the Seattle Police Operations Center). He has been a Watch Commander in both the East Precinct and South Precinct and was also assigned as the West Precinct Operations Lieutenant. He has been a Lieutenant in the Traffic Section, the Robbery/Gang/Fugitive Unit and the Vice/High Risk Victims Unit, where he was recognized for his work in Human Trafficking and was the co-Chair of WashACT, the Washington Advisory Committee on Trafficking.

Captain Sano was promoted to Captain in 2013, where he was assigned as the Commander of the Coordinated Criminal Investigations Section. He was also part of the FBI’s Public Corruption Task Force and received his Top Secret clearance to work Domestic Terrorism cases with the FBI’s Group 1 Investigators. In 2016 he transferred to the Traffic Section Captain, where his greatest thrill was learning to ride the Harley Davidson motorcycle and be part of the Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team.

Captain Sano has his Bachelor of Arts degree in Society and Justice from the University of Washington. He also completed several leadership and management courses, including the Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, Session #235, where he served as Class President.

Captain Sano is married to his wife, Kim. They have three adult children and one grandchild. Captain Sano grew up in the Seattle area and is a diehard Husky fan (Go Dawgs!). He is excited to serve the citizens of the North Precinct and to foster great relations with many of the residents, neighborhood groups and business owners.

Captain Sean O’Donnell

Captain Sean O’Donnell began his career with the Seattle Police Department in 1981. He has worked in the all of the precincts as a police officer and was a Field Training Officer. In 1986 he transferred to the Seattle Police Traffic Section as a motorcycle officer for six years. He has been assigned as a Media Relations Officer, Industrial Relations Officer, academy instructor, and was assigned as a Detective on the Mayor’s Security Detail. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2001.

As a Sergeant he worked Patrol in the West and North Precincts. He also worked in positions as a Sergeant in Communications and as a Detective Sergeant in the Office of Professional Accountability. When promoted to Lieutenant in 2006 he was assigned as a Watch Commander in the South Precinct. He has been assigned to successive positions as the East Precinct Operations Lieutenant, a West Precinct Watch Commander, and the West Precinct Operations Lieutenant.

Captain O’Donnell was promoted to Captain in 2011, and was assigned as Director for the SPD 911 Communications Section. In 2013 he served as commander of the Seattle Police Education and Training Section, where he and his staff worked with the federally appointed Monitoring Team and Department of Justice to “operationalize” recently changed department policies into training curriculums, which were delivered to all of the sworn members of the organization. Most recently, in 2015 Captain O’Donnell took command of the North Precinct.

Captain O’Donnell received an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Shoreline Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Central Washington University. He retired in 2004 from the active/reserve U.S. Army after 24 years, attaining the rank of Command Sergeant Major. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. Captain O’Donnell has completed several leadership and management courses including the Senior Management Institute For Police (SMIP), the WACJTC Leadership in Police Organizations (LPO) course, and the 2013 and 2014 Summer Criminal Justice Executive Leadership Institute co-sponsored by CJTC and Seattle University. He has received certification as a Middle Manager from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Captain O’Donnell understands the need for strong community relationships. He believes in working collaboratively with citizens, businesses, service providers and law enforcement partners to work successfully towards the SPD Mission:

“It is the mission of the Seattle Police Department to address crime and improve quality of life through the delivery of constitutional and effective police services, and to do so in a way that reflects the values of our diverse neighborhoods.”

Captain O’Donnell was born in Seattle and was raised in the northeast area of the city. He and his wife are the parents of two daughters.