Police Chief Chosen After Statewide Search

After a statewide search, Manhattan Beach Police Capt. John D. Hensley has been selected as the new police chief of Cypress.

Hensley, chosen from 44 applicants for the department’s top post, will oversee a force of 55 sworn officers and 24 civilian employees.

He replaces Daryl Wicker, who retired in June after a 32-year career in law enforcement. Wicker had served as police chief since 1989.

City Manager Mark J. Ochenduszko said Hensley faced tough competition for the position but was chosen because of his strong management and educational background.


“I think he has a lot to offer the city of Cypress,” Ochenduszko said.

Ochenduszko added that the city’s new police chief has “a modern approach to management and high integrity.”

Hensley, 42, starts his new job Aug. 17. A badge pinning ceremony will be Aug. 24 in council chambers.

As long as he can remember, Hensley said, he always wanted to be a police officer and set his sights on one day becoming a chief.


“I always thought it would be a great thing to be a top cop and set the tone for law enforcement for whatever city I’d be fortunate enough to get the job with,” he said.

“I couldn’t have been happier to be selected for this particular post. It’s just a great opportunity for me and my family.”

During his 14 years with the Manhattan Beach Police Department, Hensley held a variety of assignments and worked his way up the ranks from detective and police officer to captain, a rank he’s held since 1994.

In 1986, he was recognized with the medal of valor for diving into the ocean and saving a suicidal woman who jumped off Manhattan Beach Pier.


The following year, his department presented him with the 1987 Officer of the Year award.

From 1974 to 1982, Hensley was a military police staff sergeant for the U.S. Army.

He landed his first job as a city police officer in 1983 in Barstow and stayed there until 1984.

Hensley holds a master’s degree in public administration and is a graduate of the POST Command College, a state program for law enforcement officers.


As the new police chief of Cypress, Hensley said his goals include training officers and department personnel to give them the “tools to do the best job for what we’re paid to do, and that is to provide police services to the community.”

Hensley, who is married and has two adult sons, plans to move from El Segundo to Cypress.