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Major Gerald Hansel was born and raised in the Cedar Rapids area. He is a graduate of both Regis High School and the University of Northern Iowa, where in 1989 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology. The following year, Gerald began his career with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. After close to twelve years of service as a deputy, working in both the Correctional Center and the Patrol Division, Gerald was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in March of 2002. As a Sergeant, Gerald again served in both the Correctional Center and Patrol Divisions.
In 2003, while assigned to the Correctional Center, Gerald was nominated by his supervisors and later received a recognition award for his professional and personal contribution to the community. While serving as a Sergeant in the Patrol Division, Gerald was responsible for managing grant funded projects such as enhanced traffic enforcement operations and the serving of arrest warrants. In 2005, Gerald was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and transferred back into the Correctional Center where he served as a Jail Commander for approximately three years before being promoted to the rank of Captain in June 2008. Gerald remained in the Correctional Center serving as an Assistant Jail Administrator overseeing the everyday operations of the 401 bed facility until June 2009.
On January 2, 2009, newly elected Sheriff Brian Gardner appointed Gerald as a Second Deputy with the rank of Major. Gerald was the Commander for both the Patrol and Criminal Divisions which included oversight of all patrol functions, including the Sheriff’s Office K-9, Accident Investigations, and Rescue (paramedic) Units, as well as the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau. In August of 2017, Gerald was then transferred to the General Services Division, which is responsible for training, hiring, promotions, purchasing, vehicle repair garage, special deputy program and building operations. He also oversees the Communications Division and the Sheriff's Office's Weapons Permit program. In March 2018, Gerald graduated from the 271st session of the FBI National Academy and has also completed the Credible Leadership Courses I-IV from the National Command and Staff College.