By Roadtrip Nation

Daniel Hahn



My road in life took a while to figure out.
As a baby, I was put up for adoption by my parents, who were young and couldn’t cope with the responsibilities, or—as a biracial couple—the societal pressures of the time.
At three months old, I was adopted by a white couple; my mother had a lot of love to give and wanted to adopt a child that wouldn’t have otherwise been adopted.
My adoptive parents moved us to the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, CA—a predominantly African-American neighborhood—so I could grow up around people that looked like me.
While attending Sacramento City College as a business major, a friend convinced me to take a criminal justice class, which is where my interest in law enforcement began.
When I was 19, I entered the police academy—my plan was to serve as a community service officer until I finished college, and then quit to start my own business.
At 21, I was promoted to a full police officer, and eventually graduated from California State University, Sacramento with my bachelor’s degree in business.
I got the opportunity to start a police academy at a local high school—that’s when I realized that being a police officer could open doors for me to do the community service work I’d wanted to do.
I am now the City of Sacramento’s 45th Chief of Police, and the first African American to occupy the position.
Keep following my journey


Chief of Police

I serve my community as the Chief of Police for the city of Sacramento.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

I oversee a police department of over 1,000 officers.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

You have to build relationships and understanding with the communities that you serve. It's that understanding that builds the bridge of trust. Having a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy is hugely important. Be humble and open to others. Be aware of people's implicit biases, it can help you understand where they are coming from and how best to approach situations.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Give yourself options! You never know when opportunities are going to come up and so you have to be ready for them. Always have your bags packed and be ready to go onto the next adventure.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"Police officers aren't cool, they just arrest people."

Challenges I Overcame

Gangs / Violence
Legal Trouble

Interviewed By

Community Driven

Community Driven

California Community College Roadtrip