Amid a series of high-profile firestorms, Fort Collins Police Chief John Hutto announced on Tuesday plans to step down after five years at the department’s helm.
During his tenure as chief, Hutto led the department through an expansion of body-mounted camera technology. He was chief when the disgraced officer at the center Timothy Masters’ wrongful conviction for the murder of Peggy Hettrick resigned. And as issues of population growth compounded, Fort Collins remained a destination under his watch, in part due to low violent crime rates.
But in recent months, his department has been embroiled in damaging criminal and civil cases involving allegations of racial discrimination and excessive force.
Most recently, top brass, including Hutto, were involved in an internal racial and ethnic discrimination lawsuit that resulted in a $425,000 settlement. That’s in addition to a separate $150,000 settlement reached earlier this year amid allegations of an officer’s use of excessive force. The icing on the cake came earlier this month when an international public relations nightmare arose out of an arrest in Old Town Fort Collins.