Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes has announced his retirement from the Fullerton Police Department (FPD), effective November 11, 2016. Hughes joined the FPD as a cadet in 1983, and was sworn in as a police officer in 1985. He rose through the ranks and was appointed by Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz as Acting Police Chief in January of 2012, prior to becoming the Chief of Police after a unanimous 5-0 vote by the City Council on January 15, 2013.
“I want to thank Chief Dan Hughes for his 33 years of service to the City of Fullerton,” said Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald. “He is a respected leader in the community who has served this city well and has many accomplishments of which to be proud. He became chief at the most critical time in our history and has worked hard to rebuild trust and confidence with our community by spearheading a community policing strategy within the department. Whether it was enhancing our presence and relationship with the schools and partnering with Team Kids and the GRIP program to care for Fullerton’s youth, opening up the police department to the public through tours and open houses for the first time in 25 years, increasing citizen academies, creating a Chief’s community advisory committee, organizing town hall meetings where residents have the opportunity to ask questions, or co-chairing the Love Fullerton movement to build deep-rooted relationships, Chief Hughes made it a priority to make the police department an integral part of the community it serves.”
City Manager Joe Felz commented, "Chief Hughes has brought much needed leadership and stability to our City and he deserves tremendous credit for the success and achievements of the Fullerton Police Department. Chief Hughes has set a new standard of excellence."
When asked what he considers his proudest accomplishments, he cites embracing community policing methods and improving and developing strong trusting relationships within the community. He is also very personally proud of creating Orange County’s first full-time Homeless Liaison Officer Program and forming partnerships with Coast to Coast, O.C. Mental Health, and other non-profit organizations. His was the first police department in Orange County to deploy every officer with a body camera. And he led the effort with the legislature to permanently honor two Fullerton fallen police officers by dedicating freeway signs in their name.
“There are no words I could use to adequately express how grateful and honored I am of serving as Fullerton’s 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,” said Hughes. “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.”
The City of Fullerton will soon announce the appointment of an interim police chief to serve during the course of a nationwide search for a permanent Police Chief of the Fullerton Police Department.