Special exclusive to The Fullerton Informer by one of our readers, anonymous of course.
It’s about time….with all the newly hired officers leaving in mass and the more seasoned officers running for employment at neighboring police departments…the wreckage caused by the Danny Hughes leadership era is at last coming to an end. Apparently Disney does not conduct pre-employment background checks or Dan Hughes is just the perfect size for the duck suit. But don’t worry, Dan Hughes is not going away that quickly. His 2-week notice letter states he will be retained by the City Manager as a Fullerton reserve police officer.
Why would a new Chief allow the old dysfunctional leader to hang around and continue to spread his poison? Why would his new employer allow him to continue working at the Fullerton police department…Now drawing 3 pay checks.. one pension from PERS one from the City of Fullerton and one from Disney?
It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that after 33 years of service at the police department, I will be retiring effective November 11th. I have informed the city manager and he will be choosing an external interim chief until a wider search and testing process can be completed. I will become a reserve officer in order to complete a few projects I have committed to. I have accepted a position as the Vice President of Security and Emergency Services at the Disneyland Resort and am excited about this new journey in my life.
There are no words I could use to adequately express how grateful and honored I am of serving as your police chief for the past five years. We have endured many challenges during this time but I believe those challenges made us better and I truly believe the best days for our department are still to come. The future of our department is exciting because there are such strong managers and supervisors prepared to lead our department. I could not be more impressed with our sworn and professional personnel that are committed to excellence and are loyal to serving our community with the highest level of integrity, character, and compassion.
You should be very proud of what we have been able to accomplish these past five years. We developed a strategic plan of embracing community policing methods and improving and developing strong trusting relationships within our community. We began utilizing a more academic approach to analyzing crime trends and partnering with our community to decrease crime and increase community relations. We created the Directed Enforcement Team to address quality of life issues and to provide more opportunities for investigative development for our personnel. We created the county’s first full time Homeless Liaison Officer Program and partnered with Coast to Coast, O.C. Mental Health, CSP, and other non-profit organizations to deal with this tragic social problem that local law enforcement has been asked to resolve. We have enhanced our presence and relationship with the schools as we partnered with Team Kids and GRIP to demonstrate a sense of caring for the future generation of our community. We have enhanced our relationship with the community we serve by improving how we communicate with one another. We increased department tours, held open houses, increased citizen academies, created a Chief’s community advisory committee, increased our presence at community events, partnered with O.C. United with the Love Fullerton events, initiated Annual Reports and Employee Recognition Ceremonies, created a social media team, initiated the departments first Legacy Album project which is projected to be completed in the next few months, and helped launch Behind the Badge OC so we could profile the many wonderful programs and people we have at our department and share information with our community that most news organizations are not interested in covering.
There were also many visible changes made within our department. The Traffic Bureau, Records Bureau, and the CSI offices all received significant renovations. We created the Wall of Honor and Wall of Service to memorialize those that have served honorably before us and to challenge each of us to emulate their actions. We transitioned our patrol cars to Ford Explorers and changed the police logo and added a blue lives matter flag on each vehicle. We memorialized five of our police vehicles by placing the names of the five officers whose deaths are attributed to them being a police officer. We provided every officer a Taser and soon each officer will be equipped with a tourniquet kit and Naloxone (Narcan). We were the first department in Orange County to deploy every officer with a Body Camera. We redesigned our web page, approved a new policy manual, created the Peer Support Program, and purchased a new Prism system to improve training. We also created challenge coins and worked with the Legislature to permanently honor two of our fallen officers by dedicating freeway signs in their name. A strategic staffing study was completed and later approved by city council to increase the number of sworn officers from 143 tom 160 in the coming years.
I will retire with many fond memories but what I will miss the most is the incredible people I have had the opportunity to work with. Each day I have come to work I have prayed for the protection of our personnel and the transformation of our city. I will continue to do so and will make myself available if I can ever be assistance to you.
I am excited for the future of our department and thank you for the amazing privilege of serving as your police chief.
With much appreciation, gratitude and respect-