Atascadero gets a new police chief, from King City

December 11, 2020

Bob Masterson


The city of Atascadero has hired the head of the King City Police Department to serve as Atascadero’s new police chief.

On Tuesday, the Atascadero City Council confirmed the hire of Bob Masterson, following a nationwide search for a new chief. Masterson will replace Jerel Haley, who retired in October after serving as Atascadero’s chief since 2011.

Prior to becoming police chief in King City, Masterson spent 20 years working for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. He also served as police chief for the College of Sequoias Community College District.

“Bob is the right person to lead the police department at this time,” Atascadero City Manager Rachelle Rickard said in a statement. “He has organizational leadership experience and a proven community outreach background that are both key to success in the chief’s role.”

Masterson took over the helm of the King City Police Department in 2016, following the 2014 arrests of the department’s former chief, acting chief and several officers on a host of charges, including bribery, embezzlement and making threats. Masterson was hired by and worked for King City executive Steve Adams, the former Arroyo Grande city manager who was ousted following a 2014 sex scandal.

Adams said Masterson’s record in King City has been extraordinary. [King City Rustler]

“He rebuilt King City’s police operation to be a model department, implemented a comprehensive plan that saw annual shootings decrease from 32 in 2017 to only four in the following three years and led a dedicated effort to rebuild trust and a positive relationship between the police department and community,” Adams said.

Masterson is expected to begin work as Atascadero chief in early January.

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Welcome, Chief! Please bring the town your best!

We have one word for you; numbers actually…… CVC27150 <sadly underused here.

Kindly cite and enforce this muffler law in an overdue campaign against having our sleep taken. The Legislature voted a couple years ago, UNANIMOUSLY Chief, that means democrats, republicans, independents, to add court costs and TEETH to the formerly toothless "sign off" modified exhaust prohibition vehicle code section.

An unmodified factory Harley meets the exact same noise standards as a Toyota Camry. Look it up, Sir, please.

We want to be secure in our homes, and allowed to sleep or nap without home PENETRATION by obnoxious and illegal pipes and Flowmasters. Bring your ticket book with you for your subordinates, Chief. You can extend Atascaderan lives per the American Public Health Officers and AMA studies of sleep disrupted by penetrating noise….. You will improve lives area-wide.

A “nationwide” search for a new police chief ends up in King City? Really?

Not sure a recommendation from Steve Adams is worth anything.

Police Chief Interview Check List:

Warrantless searches outside of jurisdiction? None… so far.

Dogs shot while in charge? None… so far.

Good enough. We do have standards.

I know nothing of this man, but statistics would tell me it is highly likely that he will eventually allow such equally offensive events to occur with impunity. I only hope he proves me wrong.

Welcome Chief Masterson. You have some big shoes fill. Jerel Haley was a solid Police Chief who led with integrity, character, honesty, truth, and strength. May you lead the Atascadero Police Department with the same going forward. We expect nothing less than the best, just as Jerel delivered to this city.