Retired Police Chief Jerel Haley is temporarily returning to the department until a replacement is found

ATASCADERO — After releasing Atascadero Police Chief Robert (Bob) Masterson from his position earlier this month, the City of Atascadero has announced that retired Police Chief Jerel Haley will be returning to Atascadero Police Department (APD) to serve as interim Chief of Police. 

“We are delighted to have Chief Haley return to Atascadero and fill in as the Interim Chief of Police as he knows our community and our entire team here at the City,” said City Manager Rachelle Rickard. “It will give us time to recruit the right person, and his willingness to assist us speaks to the incredible leader he has been for our Police Department.”

In a press release following Masterson’s release from contract, he and City Manager Rachelle Rickard state that “incompatible management styles” is the compelling reason behind the employment release.


Chief Haley was appointed as Atascadero’s Police Chief in October of 2011. During Chief Haley’s tenure here, he made community engagement, building relationships and enhancing partnerships between the Police Department and the community a high priority. Before his retirement on October 16, 2020, Haley served a total of 29 years in law enforcement, with the last nine years as Chief of Police for the City of Atascadero’s Police Department.

“We at the City are very blessed to have Chief Haley come out of retirement to give us his time, professionalism and ongoing leadership,” said Mayor Heather Moreno, “it truly speaks to who he is and his ongoing commitment and dedication to our community.” 

Chief Haley is expected to begin serving as Interim Chief of Police in early October. At this time, the City of Atascadero has started the recruitment process for a new Chief of Police.