Hutchinson police chief terminated, search for new chief begins, city leaders say

Hutchinson police chief Jeffrey Hooper was fired, Hutchinson city manager Kendal Francis confirmed Wednesday, though he declined to say why.

Hooper, whose last day was Tuesday, started with the department in October 2018. He declined to comment.

Alan Stoecklein, a former Kansas Highway Patrol commander, will serve as interim police chief while the city gets ready to conduct a national search for its next police chief, Francis said. Stoecklein served as the interim police chief between the former chief Dick Heitschmidt and Hooper’s hiring.

Francis declined to comment on what accomplishments the department made under Hooper. Francis started as the Hutchinson city manager in January, The Hutchinson News reported.

Hooper had spent decades with the Riley County Police Department and moved up the ranks before taking the job at Hutchinson, according to The Hutchinson News, adding that he was also one of four finalists and the only internal one for RCPD chief but withdrew his name when he was offered the Hutchinson job.

The Hutchinson PD has 78 sworn officers, a city official said.