ENGLAND, Ark. (KTHV) - The chief of police in England has been let go, taking effect Thursday morning.
According to the office of Mayor Danny Maynard, the decision to terminate chief of police Herman Hutton is due to a personnel issue, but they will not discuss details at this time.
Hutton was chief for five years. Prior, he worked for the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office for 14 years, the Coroner's Office, and was even a deputy sheriff in Nebraska.
The office of Mayor Maynard noted that Hutton served at the will of the mayor and could be dismissed at will.
Hutton issued the following letter to the media Friday:
"I am giving this press release because I have decided to appeal my wrongful termination as the Chief of Police for the City of England to the City Council. In January of this year I was informed by Mayor Danny Maynard Sr. that my job was under a thirty day review. At that time I was given no standard to follow by the Mayor other than he wanted me to be as visible and involved as I was when I first started. I started writing a letter to the Mayor on January 12, 2012 after my meeting with him , and after my job performance as the Chief of Police was brought into question. I never gave this letter to the Mayor or the City Council because I was under the belief that I had corrected any problems that may have existed. I stopped writing this letter after the Mayor and I had a private meeting in his office after he had written a letter about me not separating my Christian beliefs from my job. In this private meeting the Mayor wanted to insure me that this letter was not coming from him because that was not how he did business. The Mayor told me at that time that I was doing a fine job and that what we said in private about our Christian faith would stay in this office. The Mayor then gave me a hug and told me that he loved me and that he was sorry about the letter, but he thought that it was best for the City that he gave me this letter. I told the Mayor in this meeting that I would not do any thing to cause problems for the City and that I loved my job here and wanted this to be my last Law Enforcement Job and to retire in this city. The Mayor told me at that time he wanted the same thing for me.
"In 2008 I turned in a five year plan about where I wanted to take the Police Department. I put in place a new five year plan in 2012 that outlined where I wanted to take this department, both of these plans were accepted by the Mayor and the City Council. Just recently I turned into the local paper and the City Council a review of the crime rate for the City of England. This review showed that our crime rate is 40% below the highest year since I have been Chief. If you go to historic high years, 1985 for property crime, and 2004 for violent crime we are down over 100%.
"So it came as a devastating shock when the Mayor called me into his office today the 19th day of September 2012 to tell me that he was terminating my employment with the City. I asked why I was being let go and the Mayor said that he did not want to get into specific details because he wanted to keep our friendship intact. The Mayor did say that the department was not going in the direction that he wanted it to go and that it was not operating like the other departments within the city. He also pointed out that there was a moral issue at the department. The Mayor asked Ms. Susan Pitts(Administrative assistant) if she had anything to add, and she stated that she knew I was a good man and that at one time I had given 110% to this job, but that this was not the case now. The only specific issue mentioned was because of the family health issues I was dealing with.
"I have given the City of England 110 percent, and was never derelict in my duties. I have always put more hours into this job then was ever expected of me. Every year that I was with the city I was given a bonus at Christmas time, and at no time was I ever given a written evaluation of my job performance. I was told on numerous occasions from the Mayor, his staff, and members of this City Council that I was doing a great job, and that I was the best Chief of Police they ever had. So I am overwhelmed that I would be terminated as your Chief of Police.
"I want the citizens of England to know that my aim was to make this city a safe place for them to raise their children, and run their business. I never had a home town growing up because my father was in the military, and we never lived any where more than three years. So when God brought me to England Arkansas I believed that it was for a reason, and I did everything possible to make this my home town. I came into a department that had no leadership, and no training. Today I would put this department and its personnel up against any department in this state. I wish nothing but the best for this city and the citizens, I will always remember you in my prayers. May God Bless you and keep you."