Police Training Facility to be Renamed in Former Sheriff's Honor

Police Training Facility to be Renamed in Former Sheriff's Honor
Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens is all smiles as she answers questions about the capture of both outstanding jail escapees Hossein Nayeri and Jonathan Tieu are in the custody of the San Francisco during a news conference outside Orange County Sheriff's Department headquarters in Santa Ana on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (Ken Steinhardt/The Orange County Register via AP)

A name change to the Orange County Sheriff’s Katella Training Facility in honor of a former sheriff who died in early January was approved Jan. 26 by the Orange County Board of Supervisors (OCBS).

The facility will now be called the Sandra Hutchens Regional Law Enforcement Training Center, in honor of former Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens.

Hutchens died Jan. 4 following an eight-year battle with cancer. She was Orange County’s 12th sheriff and held office from 2008 to 2019.

She was succeeded by Sheriff Don Barnes.

Barnes spoking fondly of his predecessor during the Jan. 26 OCBS meeting.

Barnes said that shortly before he began working for Hutchens, he and other officers were told by someone that worked for her while she was a deputy-sheriff in Los Angeles that “he would crawl through glass” to have the opportunity to work for her again.

“That’s something we didn’t understand at the time, but we got to soon know when we had the opportunity to work with her and for her in her tenure as sheriff in Orange County,” Barnes said.

“Her leadership style was very unique. She was confident, never arrogant. ‘Humility’ would summarize her leadership style more than anything else, meaning she never wanted the credit for anything that she did.”

Barnes said that her death was tremendously impactful to him personally.

“When I was serving as sheriff, there was never a time that I couldn’t pick up the phone and have a conversation with her,” he said. “Her contributions over the 10 years to this county, specifically to training, cannot be overlooked.”

Hutchens helped setup SWAT training along with centralized training for the department at the current facility to be named after her, Barnes said.

“I can think of no other testament to her contributions than the naming of the Sandra Hutchens Regional Law Enforcement Training Center in the City of Orange to be named in her honor.”