J. Nick Hanna Hanna retired from the Texas Rangers in 2019 and was hired as Chief Deputy of the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office in December. He brings a distinguished record in law enforcement to the office.
Hanna grew up in in the Texas Panhandle, graduated from Plains High School, and attended Howard College and Angelo State University. He joined the Big Spring Police Department in 1989 and served there until 1992, when he was hired by the Brady Police Department. Hanna joined the Texas Department of Public Safety as a state trooper in 1995 and advanced to the supervisory position of sergeant in 2000. As a state trooper and sergeant, Hanna served in Eastland, San Angelo (twice), and Garland.
Hanna became a Texas Ranger in 2003 and was assigned to San Angelo in 2007.
As a Texas Ranger, Hanna conducted complex felony criminal investigations, including being the lead investigator of the Yearning for Zion/FLDS situation in Eldorado. He led investigation teams for cases including capital murder, murder, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, theft, fraud, threats against public officials, misconduct and corruption by public officials, missing persons, officer involved shootings, custodial deaths, parental abductions, questionable deaths, and unidentified bodies.
Hanna has assisted federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies in joint criminal investigations. He served a team leader for West Texas Hostage Negotiation Team. He serves as an instructor for numerous law enforcement agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety training academy, Texas Rangers, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Hanna earned the Medal of Merit and the Company Commanders Award from the Texas Department of Public Safety, a certificate of appreciation from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and served as president of the Texas Association of Investigative Hypnosis.