SANTA ANA, Ca. (January 4, 2021): 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.”