Ask Joe: Is Reno ever going to promote Jason Soto to full-time police chief?


From the Ask Joe file, we are looking into a question about the status of Jason Soto, the man who heads up the Reno Police Department.

One of our viewers, Brandon Siri, wrote in to ask if the city of Reno has any plans to promote Jason Soto to full-time police chief or if he will remain assistant chief.

Here's what I found out:

First, a little background on this. When Jason Soto was hired to run the department, he did not meet all the requirements for the position. So he was named assistant chief in 2015, even though he really is the chief on a day-to-day basis.

The agreement was that he would complete the education requirements for the job in the meantime, and the city told me Wednesday he has done that.

So is his title going to change anytime soon? Reno City Manager Sabra Newby is working to fill a number of positions, including assistant city manager and director of finance.

Chief of police is also a position that is being reviewed, and no decision has been made.

Newby says she is impressed with the job Soto is doing, but she says there is no timetable to either promote Soto or hire someone else to fill the job of police chief.

I asked Soto about the situation, and he says he prefers to stay out of the political part of the process. He simply told me he is committed to public safety. He said he loves his job, and he left it at that.

So that's where it stands. Even though he really is chief for all intents and purposes, Soto's official title remains assistant police chief.

There's not a huge salary difference, by the way. Soto makes about $140,000 a year as assistant chief, according to Transparent Nevada. His predecessor, Steve Pitts, made a top salary of $150,000 as police chief.

Thanks to Brandon for sending in that question. Remember, if you have questions you'd like to ask, send me an email at and just put "Ask Joe" in the subject line. I'll do my best to track down the answers you are looking for.

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