GWC Welcomes Chief Rick Hicks

Ron Lowenberg, CJTC Dean/Director welcomes Chief Hick to his team.

Ron Lowenberg, CJTC Dean/Director welcomes Rick Hicks to the CJTC Team.

Golden West College is pleased to announce the appointment of Chief Rick Hicks as its new Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC). Chief Hicks, Chief of Police (retired) of the Placentia Police Department, brings 39 years of California Law Enforcement experience to this important position at Golden West.

The Center’s Coordinator is the “second in command” of all aspects of the Criminal Justice Training Center’s mission. In a law enforcement style chain of command, the Center Coordinator would be considered the Captain or Deputy Chief, and the CJTC Dean/Director is considered the Chief.

“We are so delighted to have someone of Chief Rick’s character, experience and dedication to public service, join the GWC Team,” said Ron Lowenberg, CJTC Dean/Director.

Chief Hicks began his career in law enforcement as a patrol officer with the Fullerton Police Department in 1975. He joined the Santa Ana Police Department in 1979, advancing to the position of Commander (Lieutenant). In 2001, Rick became the Operations Division Commander for the City of Cypress, and by 2003 had climbed the ranks to Chief of Police.  After five years, and numerous achievements in Cypress, Chief Hicks was recruited by the California State Department of Justice to work with the City of Maywood to reform its Police Department. He re-wrote the Department’s policies and achieved “best practice” status, acknowledged by the Department of Justice.  In 2011,  Rick was hired as Chief of Police in the City of Placentia, where he was responsible for the effective and efficient delivery of police services by more than 100 sworn, civilian and volunteer staff members to a diverse community of approximately 55,000 people. He retired in 2014, and accepted the CJTC Coordinator position, starting August 1, 2014.

Rick holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management from the University of Redlands and a Master’s in Public Administration from USC. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (1996), and the FBI National LEEDS Academy (2006).

During his successful career in law enforcement, Rick has found time to teach. He has been an adjunct faculty member at the GWC Criminal Justice Training Center since 1985, where he has been instrumental in the development of multiple learning domains. He also served as a Recruit Training Officer (RTO) and Senior RTO for a number of years. As the Senior RTO, he ran the program in much the same manner as today’s Academy Coordinator. Rick also teaches at the San Diego Regional Training Center and the Pointman Leadership Institute, and is a consultant to the Center for Criminal Justice Research at CSULB.

Among his many achievements, Chief Hicks has been recognized as an expert trainer in Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving. He is one of only six California police managers to develop and teach POST’s unique Train the Trainers program for community policing, and served as a subject matter expert and technical advisor on three POST Training Teleconferences: Implementing Community Oriented Policing, Combating Domestic Violence, and Problem Oriented Policing.

Rick has been happily married for 25 years to his wife Lisa, and is the proud father of Tanner, age 18, and Savannah, age 13.


The Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC) is designated as a regional law enforcement training institution by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). The Center offers a POST Regular Basic Course (RBC Police Academy), POST Special Investigators Basic Course (SIBC Academy), Semester Length Courses leading to an AA Degree or Certificate, and Short Term Courses for currently employed law enforcement personnel. Course offerings are among the highest quality in the state and nation.