Captain Todd Hankel graduated in December 1989 from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with majors in accounting and finance. He began his career with the LAPD in February 1990, working patrol assignments in Hollywood, Central (Skid Row), Devonshire, North Hollywood and Van Nuys. In 1996 he was promoted to the rank of Detective and assigned to Rampart Detectives, Major Assault Crimes (MAC). In 1997 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and was assigned to West Valley Patrol. In 1998, he received a paygrade advancement to the rank of Sergeant II and became the Officer-in-Charge of the West Valley Vice Unit.
Since investigations intrigued him, Captain Hankel reverted to the rank of Detective and was assigned to West Valley Homicide. Several years later this led to a position at Critical Incident Investigation Division (CIID), which investigated categorical use-of-force incidents, such as officer-involved shootings. To further his investigative skills, he accepted a position at Major Crime Division and was assigned to a surveillance unit responsible for covertly investigating persons who were planning to commit terrorist acts in the Los Angeles area. His final stop as a detective was at Gang and Narcotics Division (GND).
In 2013, he promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and returned to North Hollywood as a Watch Commander, the Officer-in-Charge of the Gang Impact Team (GIT), and Assistant Detective Commanding Officer. In 2015, he received a paygrade advancement to the rank of Lieutenant II and was assigned to West Valley as the Detective Commanding Officer. He spent the next five years overseeing all Part I criminal investigations before being promoted to the rank of Captain in March 2020. Topanga Patrol was his first command as a Captain of Police. In July of 2021, he received a paygrade advancement to Captain III and remained at Topanga as the Area Captain.
Captain Hankel and his wife Cherie have together five adult sons and one granddaughter. Two of their five sons are Los Angeles Police Department police officers. His oldest son Blaine is a Police Officer II assigned to Northeast Area. His oldest stepson Ashton is also Police Officer II assigned to West Valley Area. Captain Hankel is passionate about snowboarding and takes advantage of every opportunity to travel during the winter months to a different mountain resort.