Chief of Police

San Luis Obispo, CA


The City of San Luis Obispo (SLO) is searching for a new Chief of Police. Situated between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California’s majestic Central Coast, SLO has a population of more than 47,000 residents and a daytime population of 90,000. SLO is a well-known and growing business and technology hub, vacation and visitor destination, and home to California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly).

SLO is a full-service charter city with 10 distinct Departments. In November 2020, SLO voters approved a local revenue measure that is expected to generate approximately $20 million annually. While recent national and local events have significantly impacted relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve, SLO’s leaders and community stakeholders are committed to ensuring SLO is a welcoming, inclusive, and safe community for everyone.

The Police Department has a 2020-2021 budget of approximately $17.8 million and consists of 90.5 FTEs, including 61 sworn positions and 29.5 non-sworn staff. The next Chief of Police will develop strong partnerships that enhance community safety and promote a vibrant quality of life, while strengthening community trust in the Police Department.

Minimum requirements includeat least five years of management and command experience in a law enforcement agency and graduation from an accredited four-year college or university. The most desirable candidates will have a Master’s degree; executive level command experience in a larger, diverse, and highly service-oriented community; a successful track record of addressing persistent homeless, mental health, substance abuse, and other complex societal issues; experience working in a college or university community; and completion of an advanced law enforcement leadership program such as California Law Enforcement Command College, FBI National Academy, PERF’s Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), or a similar recognized program.

The annual salary range for this position is $169,494 - $211,874, with placement DOQ and experience. SLO also offers an exceptional benefits package.

Visit our website to see the detailed brochure.  Apply electronically by sending a compelling cover letter, comprehensive resume, and list of professional references to [email protected]. The first review of applications will occur February 5, 2021. Please apply early for optimal consideration.

Confidential inquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Chief Mark Helms (Ret.), Senior Consultant, at (209) 639-4077 or [email protected].

Executive search services proudly provided by Public Sector Search & Consulting, Inc., Rocklin, CA.