Dover Police Dept. assembly room named in honor of Hutchison

James L. Hutchison

DOVER — There’s not much more that James L. Hutchison Sr. enjoyed throughout his more than 40 years of service to the city of Dover than bringing people together.

So, it was naturally fitting when Dover City Council members unanimously approved a resolution for the dedication of the Dover Police Department public assembly room in honor of Mr. Hutchison at its meeting at City Hall on Monday night.

Even in retirement, Mr. Hutchinson — or “Hutch” as he is more commonly known — will continue to be known for bringing people together, this time as a nameplate on a meeting room at the city’s police station.

“When I look back at my life and all of the things that we’ve done, I’d like to thank all of the people that served with me, and there were several before us,” Mr. Hutchison said. “We were kind of the ones that laid the foundation. We laid the bricks and mortar for the Dover Police Department to become truly a premier police department in the state of Delaware.

“I stand very proud of the men and women of the Dover Police Department and I can’t say enough about our volunteer fire service. We are so blessed in this city.”

Mr. Hutchison added, “With that I can assure you, having my name on the wall next to (former Police Chief) James Turner is an honor. He actually hired me in 1967.”

Police Chief Marvin Mailey said the dedication of the public assembly room at the police station is one that is well-deserved for Mr. Hutchison.

“He’s been in our lives as a positive role model,” Chief Mailey said, of Mr. Hutchison. “He moved the city of Dover Police Department forward in ways that can’t be imagined.

“He increased our manpower by about 20 people when he was chief of police, he continued to pay forward in his dedication and work for the city, and this is a small token of our appreciation.

“We truly love this man, he is the best of all of us and we wanted to honor him and thank him for being a part of our lives. We really appreciate it.”

City Councilman Fred Neil, who represents the 3rd District, admitted that naming a gathering place after Mr. Hutchison was one that was inspired.

“You have been an inspiration ever since I’ve moved to the city of Dover with your dedication, with your leadership, the time that you’ve spent in all of the activities that you’ve been involved in,” Councilman Neil said, to Mr. Hutchison, “and it’s deserved that you should be named in the building where the public will have a chance to gather.”

Councilman David Anderson, who represents the 4th District, agreed.

“You were one of the first to make sure that everyone in the city knew that the police department was their police department, how you invited people in inclusively, how you went to the churches, how you went into the community to truly take a message of community to everyone,” he said. “Now we’re having (the city) name for you something that is very appropriate and I’m going to be pleased to support it.”

During Mr. Hutchison’s service to the city of Dover, he spent 25 years in the police department, 10 years as mayor and seven as a member of city council.

Mr. Hutchison said he is proud of the direction of the city moving forward and believes Chief Mailey will be “a great leader for this city.”

“This is something that is dear to my heart,” Mr. Hutchison said, of his dedication. “This is indeed a special honor. Mr. Mayor (Robin Christiansen), this couldn’t have happened without your support, and I thank you.

“To Council President Tim Slavin and members of council, each and every one of you, I certainly thank all of you for the work, commitment and focus you work every year to make sure you take care of public safety, police department and fire department.

“We are so blessed in this city.”

In other city council news on Monday:

• Mayor Christiansen proclaimed today as Geographic Information Systems Day and Nov. 12-18 as Geography Awareness Week.

• Acting City Manager Donna Mitchell said that following a study by the Dover Police Department a permanent radar sign will be installed on Ann Avenue in an effort to slow traffic down.

• The city has canceled a City Council meeting on Dec. 25, a Council Committee of the Whole meeting on Dec. 26 and an Economic Development Committee meeting on Dec. 27.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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