Warden Brad Hansen's leadership will be remembered long after retirement.

Warden Brad Hansen's leadership will be remembered long after retirement.

A true leader at the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS), Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI) Warden Brad Hansen is retiring August 2, 2019. Hansen says like many people, he joined corrections in 1977 as a way to pay off his student loans after college while looking to start his ‘real’ career somewhere else. Turns out, his ‘real’ career was right in front of him the entire time.

“When I started, I hadn’t thought of corrections as a career,” said Hansen. “Before I knew it, 42 years flew by. The people who work at NDCS are a major highlight for me.”

Hansen got his start as a correctional officer. In the years that followed, he became a unit administrator, emergency management supervisor, staff and partnership development coordinator and ultimately, warden of TSCI. “Throughout the years, I was able to promote,” he said. “I liked the diversity of jobs over the years.”

With a big smile, Hansen says his favorite time frame has been the last three-and-a-half-years at TSCI. “It’s different down at Tecumseh,” he said. “It’s a really tight-knit group. The people are amazing. I feel I really connected with them.”

The positive leader says he has two passions. The first is his interest in emergency preparedness. The second is his engagement in leadership programs. Hansen took those two strengths and with the help of his teammates, created the agency’s emergency preparedness program, the criminal investigators and K-9 programs, and he was instrumental in creating the special teams. Hansen also laid a strong foundation for the professional development program by bringing in top-notch leadership training to NDCS, pushing the agency to keep improving.

“Some days are pretty tough,” Hansen said. “We have to pull together and rely on each other for support. And we do that, over and over again.”

Hansen may be retiring, but he won’t be sitting still for long. He has some opportunities to do consulting and contracting work in retirement. With a grin, he said, “Of course, it will just be part time. I get to make my own schedule now.”

The thing Hansen looks forward to the most on his final day at NDCS? “It will be the first Friday night in 25 years I won’t be on call.”

That does sound pretty nice. And Hansen sure does deserve it.