Fort Collins police chief resigns after challenging 18 months

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Fort Collins police chief John Hutto

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The Fort Collins police chief announced Tuesday he is resigning from the department.

John Hutto’s decision comes in the wake of some challenges in the department during his tenure, including one high-profile case of an officer body-slamming a sorority girl that has received national attention recently.

Hutto and city manager Darin Atteberry declined interviews other than through email.

“After five years with Fort Collins Police Services I have decided to resign my position,” Hutto said.

He took to Twitter to announce his decision.

“This decision was not made lightly or in haste,” he posted.

Hutto said he and Atteberry made the call together.

“The department is at a critical juncture and the time to make change for the future is now,” he said.

It’s a future that will not include him.

“We have faced significant challenges over the past year-and-a-half and I believe the organization will benefit from new ideas and a fresh perspective," Hutto said.

Did those significant challenges include the rabid interest in a Fort Collins officer body slamming Colorado State University student or did a YouTube video of an officer shoving a Loveland man play a role?

The city also recently settled out of court with two former officers for $425,000 after they alleged racial discrimination. And there was a departmental embarrassment of hiring an officer in 2014 who is now serving four years in prison for sexual misconduct and stalking convictions.

Hutto said through email there is no specific reason for him leaving, that it's “the totality of the events.”

He said his future plans include relaxing and spending time with family.

"We truly have a phenomenal agency and I am proud to serve alongside these men and women. Thank you for many good years," Hutto said.

The city is looking for someone outside the agency to serve as interim chief while it conducts a nationwide search.

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