The Reno City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Reno Police Chief Jason Soto as acting city manager Wednesday, praising him as an effective leader in law enforcement and well poised to manage the ongoing crisis surrounding COVID-19.
Soto was first appointed as the city’s interim police chief in 2015 before being made the permanent chief in 2018. Though he will retain his title as police chief, Soto told councilmembers that he will delegate his duties to an acting chief during his time at City Hall.
Soto’s appointment comes after City Manager Sabra Newby announced she would be leaving the job in June and moving to Las Vegas. Soto will now take over on May 11, at which point the city will have six months to find a permanent appointment for the job.
Speaking to reporters after his appointment, Soto said that he understands he’ll take the reins at a “challenging time” for the city, but added that he’ll prioritize the city’s 1,500 employees and aim to minimize impacts to “the service that our community expects.”
“I know it’s a lot of work, I know that it’s a short amount of time to get a lot of things done but I think I can do that,” Soto said. “I think I can influence some decisions.”