After a little more than three years in Coalinga serving as the city’s Chief of Police, Michael Salvador has announced that he has accepted a position as Atwater’s new chief of police.
Atwater is north of Fresno and is roughly double the size of Coalinga. It lies on the CA Highway 99 and has many of the larger city attractions of “big box” stores, restaurants and medical services.
The city of Atwater has been struggling with irregularities in their police department. They fired their
chief of police last year in the midst of a trail of lost evidence, weapons, money and more.
Merced County, where Atwater is located, sent a message from the District Attorney’s Office on July 26, 2018 to the city’s defense attorneys .
The letter explained that “there have been security issues with evidence” stored by the Atwater Police Department.
“It is possible there is missing evidence,” wrote District Attorney Larry Morse II in that letter. “This is currently under investigation.”
Since then, the department has been under scrutiny and investigation. More than one source, claiming to have information about the issue have stated that investigators are on the right track. Those sources have said that they believe missing evidence includes guns, a large amount of cash and “potentially other evidence with high dollar value, including drugs.”
The state attorney general’s office has been involved with the ongoing investigation, and although the case is still underway, that office believes they are making progress according to District Attorney, Morse.
Salvador does not plan to relocate his family to his new workplace and reports that although it’s the same mileage, the daily drive will be about fifteen minutes shorter.
Salvador stated that the salary increase, added medical benefits, and better retirement package made Atwater’s offer perfect.
“This is going to be a hard move for me,” said Salvador. “I will miss a lot of really good people here. They are like family. It’s going to be tough.” Salvador’s last day will be February 20.