Richard Whitehead


Richard Whitehead

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Rick started his public service career in the Army in 1977 and the civilian world as a Baytown, TX policeman.  Joining the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO), Austin, TX, in 1986, Rick worked his way up through the ranks as the agency grew from a few hundred to over fifteen hundred personnel.  Command positions included: Homicide, SWAT, White Collar Crime, Computer Forensics, Family Violence, Child Abuse, Intelligence, Crime Lab, 911-Communications, School Resource Officer, Canine (K-9), Lake Patrol, Traffic, Patrol Platoons, and the Field Training Program.  

In 1992, Rick designed a Field Training Program for TCSO based on the best practices he observed in other agencies and training, followed by a curriculum to accompany it. The Texas A&M TEEX University System quickly recognized this, and Rick began teaching FTO as an adjunct instructor. In 1995 Rick formed his training and consulting firm and began instructing and consulting on Field Training Programs across the country. Training areas expanded over the years to include investigative and leadership topics, evolving to an international presence.

​After retiring from TCSO, Rick was the CEO of Columbia County.  Among his accomplishments were adopting a multi-million dollar budget after just one meeting and a dispatcher contract in two.

Rick’s administrative experience includes: directing high-profile investigative units, SWAT, managing multi-million dollar budgets, employee compensation programs, and equipment solutions. Incident Command during natural disasters such as the Jarrell tornado, hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and events with influxes of over 60,000 attendees. As a member of the Operations Board for the Combined Transportation Emergency Communications Center (CTECC), Austin, TX, he was part of a multi-jurisdictional team that brought to the realization a regional digital radio and mobile data system that serves over a million people.

​His technical expertise includes: assessing unit efficiencies, design, review, and implementation of training programs, instructor development, and investigative training and consultation. As a mentor and trainer, he created a Field Training Program singularly used by TCSO. Agencies widely adopt his Officer in Training (OIT) model across the country.



Bachelor degree from Midwestern State University in Criminal Justice and Public Administration

​Graduate of the FBI National Academy (197)

​Graduate of the Leadership and Command College of Texas (23)

​Certified Public Manager

​Certified National Incident Management System (NIMS) Instructor

​Certified National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Center Manager

Twice Published International Law Enforcement Educator & Trainers Journal (ILEETA)

Recognized Subject Matter Expert in Forensic Investigations, Leadership, and Field Training

Regular Instructor for the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)

Commendations for Outstanding Leadership