The Pinehurst City Council named Fred Hanauer III the town’s new police chief after a long closed-door meeting Tuesday.

Hanauer, 43, is married to the former Linda Ramirez and has five children. He has served as interim chief since the retirement of Dan Robertson earlier this year. He served as an investigator before being appointed interim chief.

He won over Jefferson County Deputy Ralph “Ozzie” Osborne, 60, who served with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office from 1997-2009.
Both men reside in Orangefield.

They chatted as they waited, having known each other for about 12 years.

“We had two candidates that were both very good,” said City Administrator Robert Ewart. “That’s what you want to see when making a decision like this.”

Mayor T.W. Permenter agreed, saying, “They are both very qualified people.”

Hanauer’s salary will be about $56,000 annually.

“I’m very pleased to be chosen as the police chief for Pinehurst,” Hanauer said. “I think I’m up to the challenge and there’s nowhere to go but up. I look forward to making some positive changes.”

A native of Little Cypress, Hanauer attended Lamar University and Lamar State College-Orange – and is a graduate of the LU Police Academy.

He has served with the Pinehurst police for five-and-a-half years. Before that, he worked for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for a little more than 16 years.

Osborne was born in Port Neches and has four children. He studied criminal justice at LU and graduated from Prairie View A&M. He taught high school for three years at Koontze High He retired from the OCSO with the rank of captain, having previously served as chief deputy for 16 years with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.

Also present at Tuesday’s announcement was Reid Caruthers, a DuPont retiree who was part of a five-member selection committee that whittled some 30 applicants down to the final two.