Update: Chief Hensley Returns to Work

Tulare Police Chief Wes Hensley is back on the job after a 16-month absence.

The return to the position he was fired from comes following mediation on Friday, January 10, before retired Tulare County Superior Court Judge Howard Broadman. Hensley will receive a $275,000 payment and has been given a three-year employment contract.

End of an ‘Ordeal’

Hensley’s reinstatement was announced following a closed session of the Tulare City Council on Tuesday night, January 15.

“I feel like a weights kind of been lifted off me,” Hensley said. “It was a long struggle, 16 months. It feels good.”

Mike Lampe, the Visalia-based attorney who represented Hensley in his wrongful dismissal case against the city, concurred.

“The Chief and I are both pleased his long ordeal has ended,” he said.

Hensley was placed on administrative paid administrative leave in September of 2017 and fired six months later in March. Two other Tulare Police Department command staff members–Capt. Fred Ynclan and Lt. Jarod Boatman–were also suspended and later returned to their positions.

Grateful for Support

Hensley said he is eager to get back in uniform and intends to return to work by month’s end in order to participate in upcoming policy meetings. The reinstatement to his position is immediate.

A message of gratitude appeared on Hensley’s Facebook page following his rehiring.

“Tonight was the end of a long and emotionally charged journey,” Hensley’s message reads. “It is difficult to put into words how much the support of friends, family, colleagues, officers and support staff helped me during this ordeal.”

He reiterated that message, and put special emphasis on the actions of his closest supporters.

“I just really want to thank my friends and family whose support never wavered,” Hensley said. “In law enforcement you get used to criticism. You grow a thick skin, but it’s hardest on the ones who love you.”

‘Folks in Tulare’

Hensley also said he was buoyed by the high level of citizen support he received during his personal crisis.

“I want to acknowledge the people of Tulare. Every time an article came out was I would get inundated with phone calls,” he said. “A lot of people didn’t know me but knew how I operate. They stood by me even not knowing all the facts.”

The people of the city he serves, he said, truly earned his admiration.

“Folks in Tulare are just amazing,” Hensley said.

In exchange for their support, Hensley says he made as much of the information surrounding his case available as he possibly could.

“I said I was going to make sure the public knew what was going on, and I think I kept up my end of the bargain,” he said.

Back by Month’s End

The plan is to be back in uniform at his desk by January 31, in time to participate in upcoming planning and policy sessions. The first step is coming out of official retirement.

“I go to the CalPERS office first thing in the morning so I can submit my request to reinstate and then go forward from there,” Hensley said.

Hensley’s first task upon return will be getting everyone at the TPD on the same page.

“For the department, we need to recognize there are issues we have to work on,” he said. “When I get back I’ll issue a statement so we (TPD employees) all know where we are.”

He plans to have a one-on-one meeting with each of his employees as he settles back into the job. And, there are promotions that need attention, a job he’ll pass to Capt. Matt Machado.

“He’s going to make that set of promotions for me, because that’s the only fair thing to do,” Hensley said.

 

6 thoughts on “Update: Chief Hensley Returns to Work

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  1. Woohoo!
    And please continue your investigation into a little item of corruption on the city council! Both of them!

  2. Great work! One question remains when is the city of Tulare going to clean house of all the wasteful spending that is being done at the management level? Six figure salaries wasteful spending. Why are citizens left with higher water bills to close the deficit gap. Tell me why we need need four project managers paid at six figure salaries when projects are being subbed out at 4-5 times higher Wake up Tulare

  3. The wasteful spending will continue as long as the corruption continues. It will continue until two of the city councilmen are seated. Think if the money these lawsuits are costing the city and the ones to come. Do you think the officers that were named in the Confidential report are going to let Jones get by with that. He violated their rights as police officers. Police are held at higher standard and have very few rights. One of the few rights was violated when Jones requested a report that he had no right to have, he was the firefighters Union President and knew darned well it was confidential, the report said it was confidential and he distributes it throughout Tulare and then tries to pretend he does not know it is Confidential. I guess he cannot read or does not understand what confidential means. He sends it to a news station according to his own testimony. This guy will continue to get the city sued and has no care in the world because it is not his money that is being paid in these lawsuits. I hope all of the police officers in that confidential report sue him personally because this guy will never learn until it affects his own pocket book. He does not care about Tulare at all.

  4. Hensley won’t wasn’t the police union going to give him a vote of no convidence. The police department would have been better off with Machado being named chief. Hensley is not a good chief treats employees like dirt at times. Was hired under a “ I don’t have a college degree waiver “. Over half the department can’t stand him. He’s garbage as a chief.

    • Have the Balls to say your name if you truly are an insider if not your just an airbag blowing crap. I am friends with plenty of Police Officers and none of them have anything Bad to say about Wes Hensley. If you really are a insider you must be a call taker and not a go getter. Your Union protects all the LAZY workers in the department so you can sleep at night while on patrol

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