After leaving the army he became a lawman in Ford County. He became sheriff in June, 1873 and with his under-sheriff, Bat Masterson, chased Sam Bass following his Union Pacific holdup at Big Springs, Nebraska.
A local law prohibited Bassett from being sheriff for a third successive term and he was forced to resign. His replacement, Bat Masterson, appointed him as under-sheriff.
When Ed Masterson was murdered in April 1978, Bassett became the new Dodge City marshal. Later that year Fannie Keenan was shot and killed by James Kennedy. Bassett was involved in the pursuit and capture of Kennedy. He also arrested Frank Loving who killed Levi Richardson in a gunfight.
Bassett resigned in November 1879 and was replaced by Jim Masterson. He went to New Mexico where he worked for the Adams Express Company. Later in moved to St. Louis, Montana and in 1880 he went in search of gold. He also lived in Colorado and Texas before settling in Kansas City.
In February, 1883, Luke Short moved to Dodge City and purchased the Long Branch Saloon with W. H. Harris. A power struggle now took place between Short and Nicholas B. Klaine, the editor of the Dodge City Times. In the election for mayor of the city later that year Klaine supported Larry Deger against Short's partner, W. H. Harris. Deger defeated Harris 214 to 143.
Soon after gaining power Deger published Ordinance No 70, an attempt to ban prostitution in Dodge City. Two days later the local police arrested female singers being employed in Short's Long Branch Saloon and accused of being prostitutes. That night Short and L.C. Hartman, the city clerk, exchanged gunfire in the street. Short was now arrested and forced to leave town.
Short had some powerful friends and in June 1883 he returned to Dodge City with Bassett, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday and other well-known gunfighters such as, M. F. McLain, Neil Brown and W. F. Petillion. However, Deger and Klaine refused to be intimidated and when they refused to back down, Short and his friends had to accept defeat. In November 1883, Short and Harris sold the Long Branch Saloon and moved to Fort Worth.
Charlie Bassett owned and worked in various Kansas City saloons until his death at Hot Springs on 5th January, 1896.