Our Guest Speaker
Rick Hanson joined the Calgary Police Service on February 3, 1975. During those early years, Hanson was heavily influenced by the new community policing approach then being introduced by the visionary Chief Brian Sawyer. Sawyer was a strong proponent of youth focused crime prevention strategies at a time when most police agencies were heavily focused on a purely reactive model of policing.
At the same time, Hanson was working on his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Calgary. It was during that period that he was exposed to the teachings of Dr. David Bercuson, a leader in strategic thinking and effective leadership strategies. These two relationships were maintained over the years of Hanson’s service and heavily influenced his approach to leading the Calgary Police Service in a period when there was great pressure to create a more collaborative model for the delivery of policing.
Increasing social disorder, homelessness, mental health and addictions, the increase in gangs and organized crime, and the vulnerability of young people were the challenges of Hanson’s tenure as Chief of Police. The response required a relentless focus on targeting criminals, combined with the creation of new and effective collaborative partnerships with other key agencies. Chief Rick Hanson inspired the creation of many innovative programs which provide intervention, crime prevention and education targeted at young people and youth at risk. These programs are the envy of other police services across North America and changing the trajectories of the lives of thousands of youth.
Hanson retired in March 2015 shortly after completing his 40th year in policing.