Mr. Daniel Hahn


Akshaj Mehta
10/13/19 -

Mr. Daniel Hahn is the current Sacramento Chief of Police. Read on to learn about his hardships and how that formed the amazing man he is today.

What did you want to be when you were in elementary school? What motivated you to join the Police force?

I originally wanted to be an auto mechanic. As I grew older (middle school age) I thought I wanted to be a construction worker. I never even thought about being a police officer. Police officers were not held in the highest regard in my neighborhood (Oak Park). It’s not that I hated police officers, but rather I never even considered it.

What type of education qualification do you need to work in the police force?

In the Sacramento Police Department an officer is required to have 60 college units. But, many officers now have a bachelors degree or more.

Please describe a typical day in your life during your job

As the Sacramento Police Chief I typically attend a lot of meetings, both within the department and in the community. The meetings range from budget, planning, employee discipline, critical incident debriefings etc. I also attend a lot of community events/functions. I believe it is very important that our community has the opportunity to interact with the police chief along with other members of our department.

Describe one of the most memorable experiences you have within Sacramento city? Why?

I have had countless experiences, both negative and positive. My younger brother was murdered while I was working as a police officer and I identified him while I was working. I then had to call my mother with the news which I will never forget. I also remember a man walking up to me in the barber shop and telling me I changed his sons life through a talk I gave and the son was now in a police academy. There are countless other memorable experiences as officers have the ability to change the lives of people on a daily basis.

What kind of challenges do you have to overcome in your day to day work.

During the normal activities of police work, an officer see’s things that a human being should never see. This can range from extreme child abuse, murder, violence, neglect etc. These things take a toll on the people who see them over and over. This is a stressful job that requires officers to make critical decisions in a split second. We must continue to support officers with resources (ie counseling, mental health etc.) in order to insure our members stay healthy for their families and our community.

Do you feel any pressure or stress? How do you overcome that?

This is a very stressful job. People handle stress in different ways. I typically handle stress by working out. I typically work out at the beginning (around 6am) of every day.

Would you want your experience to be written as a book? Why? What would the title be?

I wouldn’t mind my experience to be written as a book. I was adopted at 3 months old, arrested for assault on an officer when I was 16 years old. Lost my younger brother to murder after he became involved in the illegal drug world. I also witnessed a murder (victim shot multiple times) when I was about 9 years old and grew up in the Oak Park neighborhood. I lost my father when I was 5 years old and was raised by my mother. I owe my success to my mother who, along with my father, had room in their heart to adopt me when I was 3 months old. This literally changed the trajectory of my life. It goes to show what can be accomplished with a loving and supportive home. Also, I am African American and my mom and dad were both white and grew up in rural areas of Nebraska and Minnesota. There are many lessons in my life that would be good for people to see.

Is there any message you want to give to the young readers out there?

Yes, There is nothing better than working hard and caring about others. We all come with different experiences and abilities but we completely control our effort and our heart. I always tell my daughters to work hard and care for others. The most rewarding thing about being a police officer is that I have the ability to positively impact the lives of others every single day.