Captain Bill Richards
Born and raised in Chicago, Captain Bill Richards, commander of the Tucson Police Unit's Crimes Against Persons Unit, initially joined the Chicago Fire Department after college. "I spent four years there before I realized that it was a bit too cold to play with water in the wintertime," says Richards. He and his wife then migrated to Tucson where he joined the police force in 1984.
Richards spent three years as a homicide detective and looks back on the experience fondly. "There is no more important job in the police department than effectively removing from polite society people who will hurt children, women and senselessly take the life of another."
Richards is married with three kids, one of whom is planning to follow in her father's footsteps. He credits his wife with always supporting him and says, "I promised her a world cruise after I retire in payment for all the dinners I've missed and movies we've had to leave and phone calls she's had to hear me conduct at 3 o'clock in the morning." In his spare time, Richards paints cars, and is currently working on a Mercedes SL500.
Lieutenant Rick Wilson
Born and raised in Tucson, Lieutenant Rick Wilson, commander of the Tucson Police Units Violent Crimes Section, has been on the force for 24 years. He credits his cousin, a police officer in Tucson, as his inspiration for joining. "I started doing some ride-alongs with him and I kind of caught the bug. I realized that's what I wanted to do. And that's what I've been doing ever since."
Since joining the police force in 1984, Wilson has worked in many departments, including burglary, the bravo unit, and internal affairs. He also spent some time undercover working with street level narcotics. "It's a great career. It's a noble career. It's an honorable career," he says. "The department has been very, very good to me and my family."
Wilson holds all of his colleagues in very high regard. "They're very driven. They're very dedicated. And I'm very impressed with that." He adds, "They're just flat out dedicated 100 percent to the job that they're doing. And that's really nice to work around."
Wilson explains the difficulties that come with working homicide. "We obviously have compassion for our victims and our victims' families. They've just lost loved ones. And you do feel for them. You really do. But you have to keep in mind that you have a job to do. And you can't internalize these [cases] so much that it starts affecting your job. If you do you'll never survive a career."
Wilson is a family man. He says, "I'm very lucky. I've been married for 23 years to my high school sweetheart. I've got two beautiful daughters. I feel blessed every day."
Sergeant Kevin Hall
Born in Southern California, Sgt. Kevin Hall didn't always have aspirations of joining the Police Department. He explains, "I think I was one of the few kids who did not want to be a police officer. It wasn't until I joined the Air Force and I was in law enforcement in the Air Force that it kind of grew on me. I decided it might be a career track for me." Hall enrolled in the University of California, where he was a double major in psychology and sociology. His degrees have come in handy. "Sociology is the study of groups - group behavior. It's fascinating to see, particularly as a detective, the norms and values are different within each little subculture. I found it enormously useful."
Hall has been in the police department for sixteen years, and has spent the past three as the supervisor of the homicide unit. Prior to joining homicide, he worked in the gang unit, internal affairs, and as a S.W.A.T. officer. Hall especially enjoyed his time with S.W.A.T. and says, "I enjoyed working with people who are amazingly disciplined, who knew what they were doing and who you literally trusted with your life."
In homicide, Halls says, "The most important skill is interviewing. The bread and butter of any detective, and particularly in homicide, is your ability to talk to people, elicit information from them, make them feel comfortable enough to tell you that they killed somebody. That's an incredible skill."
Hall credits his family with being there for him through the long hours that come with law enforcement. He says, "I have a very wonderful wife named Karen. She has been enormously supportive of me throughout my career. I have four children - ranging in age from 23 down to 11. They also have been very understanding. I have missed birthdays. I have missed a couple of Christmases. I can't count the number of soccer games or school plays and that sort of thing that I've missed." He adds, "They've been very much on my side and they enjoy the time we spend together."
In his spare time, Hall enjoys traveling, and has been to Europe and Australia. When he retires, he plans to visit New Zealand, Japan and China.
Detective Mike Carroll
Detective Mike Carroll was born in Santa Maria, California. After spending time in the U.S. Navy, Carroll studied sociology and began thinking about where his career was headed. "I never thought at the beginning I was going to be in law enforcement. It wasn't this long life-term dream of mine. But after I got out of college I thought about law enforcement and making a difference."
Carroll has been on the force for 13 years. He started as a patrol officer and then as a high school liaison officer. Carroll also worked in the gang unit before joining the more challenging homicide unit. "In Homicide, the family is calling you, asking you, even pleading with you, and begging with you to make sure you don't give up on the case." He adds, "Everyone says they like the adrenaline rush - catching a criminal, going after somebody. But I've never heard someone say they like the pressure."
In his spare time, Carroll enjoys running and golfing and playing the stock market.
Detective Bill Hanson
Born and raised in Chicago, Det. Bill Hanson describes himself as the "black sheep of the family." "My dad was a fireman," he explains. "I was supposed to be a fireman." Instead, he became a police officer. He made this life changing decision at the age of 5, when his father gave him a Dick Tracy cap gun. "From that point on," Hanson says, "I knew I was going to be a cop."
Hanson did ten years of active duty in the Air Force and twelve years in the Air Guard. While there, he took an interest in law enforcement. Hanson started out as a deputy sheriff in Mojave County before coming to Tucson in 1993. Before joining homicide in 2005, Hanson worked in burglary taskforce, AG assault, and the Bravo Unit.
Hanson says of the homicide department, "We speak for the dead. You speak for your victim, because nobody else is gonna be able to do it."
Hanson and his wife Laura have five children. "None of them are in law enforcement," he says, "but one's a firefighter." He adds, "I've got two little grandsons that I think are going to be sports stars. I don't think they're going to be either firemen or policemen." Hanson acknowledges the important role his family plays in his career. "In my case, I have a good wife. She's very supportive. And she knows what the job entails, and she's always been very supportive of it and so has the family."
Hanson has been weightlifting since his military days and has participated in the Police and Fire Olympics. He is also working on a series of children's books. "I don't have anything in print yet, but what I want to do is take the money from that and give it to children's charities."