Officer James Hansen always dreamed of becoming a police officer, but his journey to become a sergeant in the Stillwater police department is unlike any other.
Hansen enlisted in the army in 2001, deployed to Egypt in January 2003 and returned home in August of the same year. Then he went back to school. He graduated from University of Central Oklahoma and became a teacher and coach. Since joining the Stillwater police department in 2012, Hansen has held many different roles.
He is currently a motor officer, drug recognition expert and member of the department’s Honor Guard Unit. Hansen also leads the department’s involvement in the Special Olympics, which holds an annual event in Stillwater.
On Thursday Hansen was promoted to sergeant alongside Sgt. Kyle Bruce, who was promoted to lieutenant.
“It means a lot for members of the department to view me as a leader,” Hansen said. “That they felt that it was appropriate for me to receive this promotion. It’s a lot of weight to bare but it’s something that I look forward to. I look forward to the challenges that come with it. I know that I will continue to do what I need to help this department move into the right direction and continue building on the success that the department has started with this new administration.”
Hansen’s dream of becoming a police officer started at a young age. As a kid, he said he always looked up to his step brother who was a police officer. He said he tried to ride along with his brother as much as he could when he was working and how he really enjoyed that.
“(Hansen) gets out there and works hard,” said Capt. Kyle Gibbs. “He’s well educated and he just knows his job well.”
When Hansen is not on the job, he is a dad and a coach. He coaches his son’s nine and under, year-round baseball team. He said he loves being able to teach his players not only how to become better baseball players and but how to overcome adversity whether it be on or off the field.
Sgt. Bruce was promoted to lieutenant at the ceremony.
“I am excited to be part of the continued growth and advancement of the agency,” Bruce said. “I have been involved in several units within the department and enjoy seeing new ideas to advance the department and officers. I hope to bring my experience in the criminal investigation division to the patrol division to assist officers to grow and learn which will help the citizens of Stillwater.”