APTA is the leading force in advancing public transportation in North America. APTA members
are public organizations that are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail,
subways, waterborne passenger services, and high-speed rail. Members also include large and
small companies who plan, design, construct, finance, supply, and operate bus and rail services
worldwide. Government agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, state departments of
transportation, academic institutions, and trade publications are also part of APTA membership.
To strengthen and improve public transportation, Ms. Hanson coordinates with stakeholders to
develop transit security, risk and emergency management standards and policies. Polly oversees
the Public Transit Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) products for the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Hanson performs peer reviews and assists with
safety audits and serves as an advocate for transportation security and well as a source matter
expert on transit security, risk and emergency management issues and concerns.
Previously Ms. Hanson was the Chief of Police for AMTRAK where she led a national police
department protecting 30+MM passengers. She developed deployment plans for special events
including: Super Bowls 47, 48 and 50, President Obama's second Inauguration, the recent
Republican and Democratic National Conventions as well as overseeing the planning and
dignitary protection requirements for the Papal visits to Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New
York. Polly was responsible for many new projects including the $2MM state of the art National
Communication Center; implementing a system-wide uniform presence of personnel as a
successful deterrent to crime in stations, trains, facilities, tracks, tunnels, and bridges;
coordinated the alignment of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing initiative; and
developed a leadership program to prepare the next generation of Amtrak police leaders. Polly's
greatest accomplishment was directing the safety and security of Amtrak employees, patrons,
passengers, tunnels, track, stations, and rolling stock in over 500 destinations, 46 states, and over
20,000 miles of track. In addition, Polly testified before Congress.
Prior to Amtrak, Polly was a career SES serving as the Director of the Office of Law
Enforcement and Security for the Department of the Interior. She was responsible for the
protection of visitors, personnel, and national icons & monuments by working closely with the
Department's 7 law enforcement programs, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
(ODNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Polly served as the principal point of
contact for the Department with the Intelligence Community. She represented the Department at
high-level meetings, on interagency and intergovernmental committees, and on task forces that
were established to review homeland security, intelligence, and counter-terrorism issues.
At the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C., Polly was the Executive Director,
Strategic Services Bureau where as a civilian Assistant Chief she oversaw the development of
policy and procedures, tactical crime analysis and research, strategic planning, applicant and
promotional testing, the FOIA office and performance management. She coordinated strategic
programs and governmental issues with the Mayor of Washington D.C. and the City Council.
Polly began her career at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) where
she progressed through the ranks. As a Police Recruit, Polly was ranked first in her class, and
was awarded most physically fit female recruit. She was promoted from Police Officer to
Sergeant where she supervised patrol officers and detectives and assisted with the operations of
the Criminal Investigation Division, as well as planned for the deployment for Presidential
Inaugurations, the Million Man March, 4th of July activities and other special events. As a
Lieutenant, Polly was Chairman of the Transit Police Applicant Review and Metro Special
Police Applicant Review Boards and Commander of the Police Communications Center.
Promoted to Captain, Hanson commanded the Criminal Investigation Division, the Training
Division and was responsible for the Field Operations Bureau, Mobile Patrol Division where she
reduced crime and overtime expenditures. Promoted again, Polly became a Deputy Chief where
she commanded the Field Operations Bureau. As the Chief of the Metro Transit Police, Polly led
a tristate police department comprised of 1,500 square miles and oversaw a budget of $50MM,
with 553 personnel and led the response to the terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, help
create public awareness campaigns and was an original member of the Peer Advisory Group
(PAG) for the TSA Administrator and hosted the first PAG Roundtables. Her last role at
WMATA was that of Assistant General Manager for Safety, Security and Emergency
Management where she was responsible for the direction and management of the department
with a budget of $96MM and a workforce of 600+ employees.
Polly received her Masters degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins and her
Bachelors degree in Communications from Temple University. In addition, Polly continued her
education by attending the F.B.I. National Executive Institute, the F.B.I. Law Enforcement
Executive Development Seminar, and the F.B.I. National Academy. She has also completed the
Arthur Carhart Interagency Wilderness Stewardship Training program; and the Maryland
Leadership Challenge for Executives. Polly has been published in the F.B.I. Law Enforcement
Bulletin and the Passenger Transport magazine. Polly grew up in the District of Columbia and is
a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.
Polly is the recipient of WMATA's Carmen E. Turner Award and was awarded a COMTO
Women Who Move the Nation Award.