Former Dallas College El Centro Campus Police Chief Dies at 60

Joseph Hannigan died on Saturday from complications of pancreatic cancer

Dallas College

Joseph Hannigan, the chief of police who led Dallas County College's El Centro campus through one of its darkest days, died Saturday from complications of pancreatic cancer.

Hannigan was 60 years old.

According to Dallas College, Hannigan is credited with saving the lives of dozens of students, workers, and officers who were inside the El Centro campus on July 7, 2016, when a gunman fired his way into the main campus and held officers at bay.

“He saved my life,” Dallas College Police Officer Andrew Maughan said. Maughan was on bike patrol watching a peaceful protest when Hannigan instinctively ordered him and his colleagues inside the building just before a gunman ambushed Dallas police and DART officers outside and rushed inside the college.

Hannigan was hired by Dallas College in 2015 after serving as the assistant county fire marshal for Guadalupe County. He left Dallas College earlier this year.

He also served in the military, later became a New York City police officer and firefighter, responding to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

During Hannigan's battle with pancreatic cancer, officers rallied around his wife, establishing a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral costs and medical bills.

“Joe served our profession with honor and integrity," Dallas College Police Chief Lauretta Hill said. “He will be greatly missed.”

A private funeral is planned for next Saturday In Dallas.

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