Voted In Unanimously By Council - Story by Ed Carrasco
Fullerton will now have a permanent police chief after the City Council Tuesday night unanimously appointed Dan Hughes to the position after months of intense debate over his candidacy.
After the vote, Hughes received a standing ovation from the audience, with many of them speaking during public comment in favor of his appointment. The city has been without a permanent chief after the previous one, Mike Sellers, went on medical leave in August 2011 during the height of the Kelly Thomas beating death protests.
“[The officers] need the leadership that is going to guide them and I will just tell you that I am beyond pleased with the officers of this police department,” Hughes said before the Council vote. “They conduct themselves in an honorable and noble manner each and every day.”
Mayor Bruce Whitaker, who opposed entering contract negotiations with Hughes on “structural grounds” in December, conceded that he was “struck by the loyalty” of the many people who have spoken on the acting chief’s behalf over the past few months. He added that during his term as acting chief, the city’s crime dropped despite a shrinking police force.
“We’ve achieved a marked reduction in crime in almost every category over the past year,” he told the audience.
Mayor Pro Tem Doug Chaffee, who has been vocal in making Hughes the permanent police chief, praised Hughes’ efforts to reach out to Fullerton residents.
“I see here more transparency and openness in this department and that’s what the community wants and that’s what we need,” he said.