Hurlock rehires Les Hutton as Police Chief

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Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
Hurlock Police Chief Les Hutton looks forward to heading the town’s department again in a brand new building.

HURLOCK — Popular Hurlock Police Chief Les Hutton recently returned to his post following a nine-month hiatus. “I left in August,” he explains in an interview with the Banner, “because I had gone through some personal issues in my life and I just felt at the time I could not commit to the Town of Hurlock like they needed in a chief of police.” So, he says, “it was best that I resign at that point in time.”

Recent events collided to create not the “perfect storm,” but the “perfect opportunity” to return to a job Chief Hutton loves. “I received a call from the mayor that chief (Michael) Henry decided to step down and retire so she wanted to know, since time had gone by, did I feel strong enough to lead the department again. I did and I accepted the challenge.” In the interim, Chief Hutton worked in security for Sheriff Phillips at the county courthouse.

The major change during his absence is the recent completion of the new police building. “The building kind of sprung up. When I left, the ground was broken and work was just beginning. Overall things have stayed the same. Chief Henry has done an outstanding job which I knew he would. So, it’s just a matter of picking up where I left off.”

Asked how difficult the move to the new structure from the 110 year old current building will be, Chief Hutton noted the transfer will consist primarily of paperwork, files, cabinets, the radio system, and computers. “Now everything is computerized – even the fingerprinting system,” he said. The old, dilapidated furniture will not make the move. “There are a few technical things but overall we can handle it quickly and flawlessly.”

What are Chief Hutton’s goals for his department? “It’s a matter of making sure we raise our standards of professionalism, look at all possible training we can get and continue to attract good, qualified officers. We’ve just gotten two out of the academy who are outstanding. They were hired by chief Henry and are fantastic additions to the department.”

For the chief, “It’s a matter of getting back into the groove.” If townspeople have a say in his return, it won’t take long. Chief Hutton says Hurlock is a wonderful little town – the best kept secret in Dorchester County. It’s a fun town to police because the people are so nice. They really are genuinely nice.”

Chief Hutton likes to walk around town. “I’m going to pick up where I left off – just get out and walk. I like to interact with the people.” He especially enjoys being at the Hurlock Elementary School and meeting the children. “I’ll be back there as soon as school opens up again,” he says. “I’m excited about that.”

The returning chief feels the town and police department have “a lot of excitement ahead of us. I know what I want to do and how I want to do it. It’s just a matter of putting all that into place. No issues are insurmountable. Everybody has to work together, agree to disagree, show respect, and you can move forward.” He says he never hesitates to “put God first in my life. He walks this walk with me so I let Him guide me.” Les Hutton has been guided – back to a town he loves and a citizenry that loves him.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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