San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Parkinson selects new undersheriff

May 17, 2024

Chad Nicholson


San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson announced the upcoming promotion of Commander Chad Nicholson to the position of undersheriff.

Nicholson is to replace Undersheriff Jim Voge, who is retiring. Since Parkinson appointed him in 2011, Voge has served as undersheriff.

“All my undersheriffs have done an amazing job,” Parkinson said. “Undersheriff Voge holds a special place with me because he was the first person I hired after I assumed office. He started the Professional Standards Unit and implemented many policies and procedures that have benefited all of us. He has mentored many people along the way, and he will be missed by many, including me.”

Nicholson will take over as undersheriff in August. He is a sixth-generation resident of San Luis Obispo County and a graduate of Morro Bay High School who obtained a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly State University.

Nicholson attended the Alan Hancock Law Enforcement Academy in 2011, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class and was subsequently hired by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. As a deputy sheriff, Nicholson worked as a patrol deputy at all substations in the county and worked inside the San Luis Obispo Superior Court as a bailiff.

Upon being promoted to Senior Deputy, Nicholson served as a field training officer tasked with training new hire deputies on patrol. In 2015, Nicholson was assigned to the detective division as a major crimes Detective.

In 2017, Nicholson was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He worked as a patrol watch commander and patrol supervisor before being selected to supervise the sheriff’s major crimes and special victims units within the detective division.

In 2021, Nicholson was promoted to the rank of commander and assigned to the Professional Standards Unit, where he conducted all administrative investigations for the sheriff’s office and oversaw the department’s training program for both patrol and custody personnel.

In 2023, Nicholson was assigned back to the detective division, this time as the division commander, where he oversaw all investigative units within the division. These units include the Major Crimes Unit, Special Victims Unit, Gang Task Force, Narcotics Unit, Coroners Unit, Cannabis Compliance Team, Crime Lab, and Cyber Lab.


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Congratulations Chad! SLO County is very lucky to have you in this position.