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Posted on: December 16, 2022

PRESS RELEASE: City Manager announces Amy Watkins to serve as interim Police Chief

Contact: Scott Collins, City Manager 

December 16, 2022


Morro Bay, Calif. – In anticipation of current Police Chief Jody Cox’s upcoming retirement on December 30, 2022, City Manager Scott Collins has appointed Amy Watkins to serve as interim Police Chief, effective December 31, 2022.   As interim Police Chief, Watkins will lead the Police Department and serve on the City’s executive team.  

Amy Watkins joined the Morro Bay Police Department in 2019, serving as the Police Commander throughout her tenure here.  Commander Watkins has worked side by side with Police Chief Cox in leading the Department through an expansion of programs connecting the Department and the community, including launching the Citizen’s Academy, Police Chief’s Advisory Board, and mobile phone app (Morro Bay Police Department), among many other initiatives.  Commander Watkins has helped train new police officers and sergeants within the Department and served on the City emergency team to help aide the City and community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  Prior to coming to Morro Bay, Amy accumulated 20 years of law enforcement experience with the Visalia Police Department.  

“I am excited to announce that Amy Watkins will serve as our interim Police Chief,” said City Manager Scott Collins.  “I conducted surveys of the Morro Bay Police team and the community, and there was resounding support for the current direction of the Police Department.  Further, many respondents stated their desire for the City to look internally for the next Chief.  Amy has prepared herself for this role and I look forward to working closely with her. Lastly, I want to thank Chief Cox for his leadership and for helping to develop Watkins for the Chief position.  We wish Chief Cox all the best in the next chapter of his life.”  

In taking the interim role, Amy Watkins stated, “it is an honor serving the community of Morro Bay. I am excited for this opportunity to continue to lead the dedicated men and women of the Morro Bay Police Department.”

Outgoing Police Chief Jody Cox offered the following, “I wholeheartedly support this decision and believe that not only is the Department in a good place now, but it will continue to move forward building upon all the positive work we have accomplished over the past few years. I am extremely proud to have been a part of building our current team and each one of you have made significant contributions toward our success. I have absolute faith and confidence that the Department will continue to build upon our accomplishments working alongside Commander Watkins as the Interim Chief.” 

The City will keep the community updated about the next steps related to the Police Chief position.  


Press Release