After serving as chief of Police Services for the City of Dana Point the last four years, Capt. Kirsten Monteleone will be leaving the city to serve as Commander of Southeast Operations for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
In her new role, Monteleone will oversee the cities of Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita and South Orange County’s unincorporated areas.
Capt. Todd Hylton will take over as the new chief on Friday, Feb. 24.
“Having previously served the City of Dana Point, I look forward to returning in this new capacity and sharing my experience with the community,” Hylton said in a media release. “I am humbled and honored to lead the dedicated team that works hard daily to create a safe place to visit and live.”
Hylton joined the Sheriff’s Department in 2004 as a deputy in Custody Operations and Patrol Operations. He first served in unincorporated North Orange County, then the City of Yorba Linda. While working in Yorba Linda, Hylton started the city’s first Explorer Division for youth interested in a career in law enforcement.
When he was promoted to sergeant, he worked a variety of assignments, including Custody Operations and Court Operations, before becoming a field supervisor in Dana Point. Hylton also worked in the Mutual Aid Bureau, Internal Affairs and as the department’s public information officer.
Hylton was promoted to lieutenant in 2022 and served as a watch commander and then special projects lieutenant at the Theo Lacy Jail.
During its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Dana Point City Council honored Monteleone for her time as the city’s chief of police.
“Capt. Monteleone has developed and empowered her personnel through her service philosophy to work collaboratively on solutions to law enforcement issues in the community,” Mayor Mike Frost said. “On behalf of the City Council and staff we congratulate you on your promotion to the position of Commander of Southeast Operations.”
“This position is a great reflection on Capt. Monteleone’s leadership and future with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department,” Frost continued. “Again, it’s bittersweet, we’re disappointed to see you go but you deserve it, and our community is certainly better for having you.”
Vickie McMurchie, executive director for the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, congratulated Monteleone on her promotion on behalf of local business organization.
“You have been a tremendous asset to the community and a dedicated partner to the business community,” McMurchie said. “Always making yourself accessible, lending a listening ear and generously sharing your decades of experience or expertise with all of us.”
Reflecting on her time as chief of Police Services, Monteleone said she was most proud of the relationships she’d built in the city.
“The relationship that the Sheriff’s Department has with the City of Dana Point is unparalleled, and it’s pretty magical,” Monteleone said. “When you get to build your own team around you, great things happen and I think we’ve done some really great things here in Dana Point.”
When asked what advice she would give to her successor, Monteleone said to “take care of the people, the deputies, the city and everybody who has their hands in Dana Point.”
“It’s a great community; make it better,” Monteleone continued. “Continue the work that we started and grow and make it better,”
During the meeting, Monteleone added that she will miss the deputies, councilmembers, staff and “the 34,000 amazing people that live in the city.”
“We’ve really built a family here and I want Todd to continue that family,” Monteleone said. “This is what makes this place so special is how we all come together. We all work together, and we come to solve a common problem and that makes this the best place to live and work and be, and it truly is.”