Capt. Dan Hughes, commander of the Fullerton Police Department’s patrol division, has been appointed acting police chief by City Manager Joe Felz.
The appointment will become effective Jan. 3.
He will replace Kevin Hamilton, who will resume his duties as captain in charge of the department’s detective division. He will also assist Hughes in the transition to the acting chief’s duties.
Felz explained the decision to appoint Hughes was prompted by Hamilton’s plans to retire soon, after 34 years with the Police Department. Hamilton, named acting chief in August, originally planned to retire this past summer, but put those plans on hold when Chief Michael Sellers was placed on extended medical leave by his doctor.
“Capt. Hamilton has done an outstanding job in assuming the acting police chief position at a very difficult time for the department and the city,” Felz said. “His efforts have been very much appreciated not only by the City Council and myself, but by the community as a whole.”
Hughes, a 28-year veteran of the police department, is a “hometown boy,” having been born and raised in Fullerton. He joined the Fullerton Police as a cadet in 1983, and became an officer in 1985. He was promoted to sergeant in 1996, lieutenant in 2006, and to patrol division captain in 2010.
Hughes holds an associate of science degree in criminal justice from Fullerton College, and both a bachelor of science degree in occupational studies and a master of science degree in emergency services administration from California State University, Long Beach.
Hughes is also a graduate of the Supervisory Leadership Institute and the International Association of Chiefs of Police leadership course “Leadership in Police Organizations.” In April, Hughes is scheduled to graduate Command College, which is an 18-month leadership and futures-oriented course designed for management in law enforcement.
Hughes serves on the board of directors of the Fullerton Boy’s and Girl’s Club, and is a member of the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Fullerton Steering Committee, as well as the Fullerton Downtown Business Association and the Fullerton Downtown Working Group.
Hughes said he is looking forward to his new role, adding he takes great pride in the department. “I firmly believe the men and women of the Fullerton Police Department are some of the best law enforcement officers in Southern California,” he added.
Hughes said his initial steps as acting chief will be to continue “working on improving community trust and confidence in their Police Department.” One idea to this end that he wishes to explore is the possible formation of a community advisory committee to the chief of police.
He added he will also be working closely with his staff on completion of a review and update of department policies, procedures, and practices “to ensure our officers are making the proper ethical decisions and performing effectively, and that our supervisors are engaging more with our officers and the community in the field.”
Hughes and his wife, Kimberly, reside in Yorba Linda. They have three children – Christina, Austin and Grant. He is a member of the Yorba Linda Friends Church and is active in youth sports.