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Atascadero police chief released from city employment agreement 

police chief robert masterson

Robert (Bob) Masterson.

City manager, police chief say that ‘incompatible management styles’ is reason behind the release

– The City of Atascadero has released Police Chief Robert (Bob) Masterson from his employment agreement with the city effective as of Wednesday. In accordance with Atascadero Municipal Code, the council confirmed the release of Chief Masterson under Section 3.A  of his employment contract which allows for the release of an employee on a “not-for-cause basis,” the according to a press release from the city. This clause is often included in employment contracts for municipal government executives and allows for release if the employee is not a good fit.

Chief Masterson and City Manager Rachelle Rickard stated that “incompatible management styles” is the compelling reason behind the employment release.

“Chief Masterson is a very capable chief with strong leadership skills, so it was only after very careful consideration, that it was decided to end Chief Masterson’s employment with the city,” Rickard stated.

During Chief Masterson’s tenure, he worked to address and implement programs for the unhoused population by re-establishing the CAT Team (Community Action Team) and establishing the OUR Team. In addition, he has sent officers to Critical Incident Stress Management training that supports officers in high-stress situations, led the team through the COVID-19 timeframe, worked to revamp the budget, and hired seven officers and four dispatchers.

“We appreciate Chief Masterson’s service to the city over the last 20 months and thank him for the dedication, integrity, commitment, and heart that he brought to the job every day,” stated Rickard.

Masterson has held the position since Jan. 2021, replacing former chief, Jerel Haley, who had retired after leading the Atascadero Police Department for nine years.

The city said in a press release that no further comments will be given on this matter.


Related story: Report: Atascadero police chief on undisclosed leave


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