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Laguna Beach

Former OC Sheriff Sandra Hutchens dies following long battle with breast cancer

Former Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens died yesterday with her loved ones by her side following a long battle with breast cancer. Hutchens was Orange County’s 12th sheriff having served from 2008-2019.

Former OC Sheriff Sandra Hutchens

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Courtesy of OCSD

Sandra Hutchens

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of former Sheriff Sandra Hutchens,” said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes. “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.”

“I will miss my dear friend Sheriff Sandra Hutchens,” said Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48). “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.”

Hutchens was 66 years old. 

She was raised in Long Beach and following high school she was hired as a secretary for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. She then attended their Academy, graduating in 1978. Hutchens is also a graduate of the University of La Verne with a degree in Public Administration and from the FBI Academy.

She is survived by her husband, Larry, a retired assistant police chief for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Barnes added, “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 ( or the Susan G. Komen Foundation (, two charities she actively supported while in office.”


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