Thurston County facilities are now open to the public with restrictions, including maintaining physical distancing of at least six feet at all times and, per the Washington State Secretary of Health’s face covering order wearing a cloth face covering or mask. If you come to county facilities, please be prepared for potentially long wait times or lines due to distancing guidelines. We continue to encourage residents to access county services online, by phone, by email, or through the use of drop boxes located outside of county buildings.
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Commissioner John Hutchings, District 1
Board of Health Vice-Chair

Commissioner's Assistant
Kelli Lee

​Political Affiliation


About Hutch

John “Hutch” Hutchings has been married for 45 years to his wife Deb, and has two grown children and six grandchildren.

During his tenure, Hutch has worked with legislators on bills that focus on various county issues: homelessness, mental health treatment, annexations, and state funding. He currently serves as Chair of the Thurston-Mason Behavioral Health Organization, and sits on the Economic Development Council, Regional Housing Council, Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC), and the WSAC Legislative Steering Committee.

Hutch has dedicated much of his life to civil service. His successful 35 year career in law enforcement included 27 years with the Olympia Police Department, three years as Chief of Police in Tenino, with his career beginning as a police officer in 1980 in the City of Orange, California.

Hutch earned his Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership/Development (2004) from Chapman University, Orange, California. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and spent three months conducting a multi-national research project, in England, Scotland and Wales. The focus of his study was on the effectiveness of critical incident debriefings on police officers.

Since 2001, John has delivered keynote addresses and training to police officers, executives, and mental health professionals with the National Health Trust, in England, Scotland, Wales and Australia. Hutch is co-author of The Thin Blue Lifeline: Verbal De-escalation of Mentally Ill and Emotionally Disturbed People (2011).

Hutch’s son, Michael (retired US Army Sergeant disabled) returned home from Iraq in 2011, after surviving an IED blast. Michael and Hutch present to criminal justice personnel on law enforcement encounters with combat veterans in crisis. Those with a traumatic brain injury and/or PTSD demand specific understanding and de-escalation.

Hutch has sat on many boards and committees focusing on public service:

  • Member of Thurston County Treatment Sales Tax Advisory Committee
  • Community Youth Services (CYS)
  • Olympia West Lions
  • Lacey Rotary

Boards, Commissions, Councils & Committees

  • Canvassing Board
  • Capitol Lake/Lower Deschutes Executive Work Group
  • Community Investment Partnership (CIP)
  • Department of Enterprise Services (DES) Community Officials Roundtable
  • Disability Board
  • Economic Development Council
  • Emergency Food and Shelter Program
  • Finance Committee
  • Governor’s Task Force on Independent Investigations of Police Use of Force - Advisory Group Member
  • Law Library Board
  • Mayor's Forum
  • PacMountain Consortium
  • Shared Legislative Strategy
  • Thurston-Mason Behavioral Health Organization (TMBHO), Chair
  • Tourism Promotion Area (TPA)
  • WSAC Board of Directors
  • WSAC Legislative Steering Committee