Josh Hanson Graduated from Red Wing High School in 1999. He left for service in the United States Army, attending basic training and the initial Army Infantry course at Fort Benning, a historically rich training ground.
Following completing his initial entry courses, Josh would complete the U.S. Army Airborne School and then the U.S. Army’s Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP). Josh was hand-picked for assignment with the 3RD Ranger Battalion, 75TH Ranger Regiment, part of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).
The Sergeant-led Ranger Battalion demanded strong leadership at the ground level, not from behind the computer screen (or email). As an Army Ranger, Josh learned firsthand what “leading from the front” was. Josh would apply these lessons in leadership to the next twenty years of his career.
Josh’s unique experiences and training would provide a critical knowledge base for his future leadership in law enforcement.
Ranger Battalion would incorporate a hardened emphasis on perfecting the basics, attention to detail and everything validated through realistic training. An area typically under-appreciated and overlooked by law enforcement administrators. Like leadership, these lessons would also carry with Josh to the present day through his various roles in law enforcement.
“Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fiber called courage.”
– George S. Patton
In September 2001, Josh would be part of a Special Operations Task Force spearheading Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan in the days following the 911 Terrorist Attacks.
Josh would return from overseas and prepare to begin his law enforcement career goals.
After his Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army in 2002, Josh attended the Alexandria Technical College (Alexandria, MN) to complete his Law Enforcement degree.
In 2007, Josh would re-enter military service with the Minnesota Army National Guard. He would be a Sergeant overseeing an Infantry Team. He would participate in civil disruption operations in support of the Republican National Convention and a Quick Reaction Force in support of the 2008 Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C.
In 2010 – 2011 Josh would again deploy overseas to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. As an element leader, he led dozens of combat missions from Kuwait into various locations in Iraq during the U.S. withdrawal.
In addition to his operational actions in the military, Josh would take part as a Rapid Response Force Instructor, training and mentoring foreign services such as the Norwegian and Croatian military.
Josh would finally leave military service with an Honorable Discharge in 2012.
Early Career - Law Enforcement
Promotion to Patrol Sergeant
Field Training and Evaluation Supervisor
Emergency Response Team Commander
In 2016 Josh would become Commander of the Emergency Response Team. He would plan, coordinate and execute over forty (40) high-risk special operations throughout Goodhue and Wabasha County. In addition, he would also provide consultation to incident commanders in the field to assist in the mitigation of complex calls for service, ensuring citizen, law enforcement, and suspect safety. Josh would adopt standardized doctrine at the County level and write training manuals and implement Standard Operating Guideline (SOG) to guide all tactical and otherwise high-risk operations. He would also develop and implement a tiered contingency and de-escalation strategy to support the team’s life-saving mission.
Josh understands that the modern “SWAT Cop” is required to have a heightened physical and mental fitness level. In addition, they must have the ability to think “outside of the box.” He would coordinate the development of a selection process for tactical team candidates.
Josh would revolutionize high-risk operations in Goodhue and Wabasha County. Josh attributes this success to simply understanding what he knows, being humble enough to know what he does not know. He also turns to subject matter experts to build the various components of the team. This concept is a core component of Josh’s leadership methodology.
In addition, Josh believes that another critical component to success is building essential partnerships with surrounding jurisdictions. Josh would also coordinate the revision of a regional multi-agency joint powers agreement to support mutual-aid assistance for high-risk law enforcement operations.
Employee of the Year
Promotion to Patrol Captain
Movement to Emergency Management
In 2021 Josh sought the opportunity to become the Goodhue County Emergency Management Director following a retirement. After being selected for the position, Josh became the County leader in emergency preparedness, planning, response, and recovery. He coordinates between all federal, state and local government, private sector and volunteer organizations to accomplish the Emergency Management function in Goodhue County. Josh continues in this role today.
In Josh’s words, “it’s the 10,000 foot view”. Josh’s vast understanding of Goodhue County, coupled with his broad experience provides him with a unique perspective on the threats, hazards and other local, regional and national impacts to Goodhue County.