featured graphic for former Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, 1955-2021

Public officials release statements on passing of former Sheriff Sandra Hutchens

Sheriff Don Barnes, Orange County Sheriff’s Department

Please see the statement below from Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of former Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. In November 2012, Sheriff Hutchens was diagnosed with breast cancer. She courageously fought this disease while still leading this department. Her fight was successful for eight years. Unfortunately, the cancer recently returned and Sheriff Hutchens passed this morning with her loved ones by her side.

“Sandra Hutchens served as the 12th Orange County Sheriff from 2008-2019. She took office at a difficult time. The public’s trust had been broken by the previous sheriff. Upon taking office, she immediately took action to put one of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies back on track. She was a leader whose ethics matched the culture of the men and women of this department. She restored our pride, gave us back our dignity and rebuilt trust with the people we serve. She kept her oath, kept her promises, and ended her time in office leaving this agency better than when she started.

“Hemingway described courage as “grace under pressure.” There is no one who embodied that description more than Sandra Hutchens. Sheriff Hutchens lived her life and led this agency with courage, grace and dignity. She bravely closed her life in the same manner. When I last spoke to her she was strong, maintained her sense of humor and continued to have a deep love and appreciation for the people of Orange County. Her legacy will endure for many years through all those she mentored and entrusted with helping her lead the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

“For me personally, she was a mentor and a friend. I will continue to be inspired by her commitment to always do the right thing, regardless of the consequences, and serve with the department and community’s interests first without need for self-recognition. I am tremendously grateful for the opportunities she presented me, and the many lessons I learned from her over the years.

“In keeping with Sheriff Hutchens’ wishes, there will not be a memorial service. Her family has asked that donations be made in her name to Drug Use is Life Abuse (www.duila.org) or the Susan G. Komen Foundation (www.komen.org), two charities she actively supported while in office.”

Representative Michelle Steel (48th Congressional District)

Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) released the below statement following the passing of former Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens:

“I will miss my dear friend Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. In my role on the Orange County Board of Supervisors we worked very closely together. She dedicated her career to protecting Orange County families and keeping crime low. I am praying for her family today and in the days to come.”

Senator Patricia Bates (36th Senate District)

Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) released the following statement after learning of the passing today of former Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens:

“With deep sadness I learned of the passing of my friend, Sheriff Hutchens, who was an incredible public servant of the highest ethical standard. She was a trailblazer who worked hard to restore trust to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department during a tough period in its history. She faced challenges and controversy with a fortitude and grace that left a lasting legacy.

“Sheriff Hutchens and I worked closely on many public safety issues during her tenure. She was always respectful when there was an area of disagreement. I deeply appreciated her commitment to public safety and her love for Orange County. My condolences are with her loved ones during this difficult time.”

Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen (72nd Assembly District)

Statement from Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen on the passing of Sheriff Sandra Hutchens:

Yesterday, Orange County lost former Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, a fearless leader, loving wife and friend.

I can remember the day we voted to appoint her to be the next Orange County Sheriff over 10 years ago. She was an outsider, smart, dedicated and passionate to protect the residents of Orange County. She was the first female Sheriff in OC history. We fought side by side to make Orange County safe and to protect the neighborhoods and families in our community.

We were blessed to have such a strong leader in Sheriff Hutchens and now grieve her passing.

Sandra, I thank you for your work and friendship. You will be greatly missed. It is a sad day in Orange County.