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Assistant chief announces retirement from ASU Police Department

Rich Wilson
June 05, 2012

Rich Wilson, ASU assistant police chief, is retiring from the Arizona State University Police Department on June 30 following a 26-year career in law enforcement.

Wilson is a nationally recognized expert in the arena of higher education threat assessment. He has held numerous positions on the board of directors of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) as well as the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Through ASIS, he earned the Certified Protection Professional credential.

“I was one of the founding members of the Arizona chapter of ATAP and served as president for several terms,” Wilson said. “A threat-assessment team was developed for the campus during the 1990s that brought best practices to ASU.”

Wilson also is a senior consultant for Sigma Threat Management Associates. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from American University and a master’s in public administration from ASU.

“The ASU Police Department will continue to benefit from Assistant Chief Wilson’s expertise and leadership that he has instilled in our operations over the years,” said John Pickens, ASU Police Department chief. “While it is difficult to see him go, his dedication has greatly helped the department meet and exceed our goals. We wish him all the best in this new chapter of his life.”  

Wilson began his career in law enforcement in 1986 after serving as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He began working as a police officer for the ASU Department of Public Safety. While at ASU, Wilson has held the positions of officer, detective, administration sergeant, detective sergeant, patrol sergeant, event coordinator, commander and assistant chief.

As a commander, Wilson was assigned to help launch the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus and was instrumental in building a strong working relationship with the Phoenix Police Department. He has been a long-standing member of the ASU Employee Assistance Office Advisory Board and served on the East Valley Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team.

“When the Downtown Phoenix campus was starting, I told the chief how intrigued I was about the concept of launching an urban campus,” he said. “It was great to work with the colleges downtown, administration, the City of Phoenix and departments like real estate at ASU.”

During his ASU tenure, Wilson was a security contractor for the National Football League and actively was involved in Super Bowls XXIX through XXXII. He was an assistant venue security manager for the Atlanta Olympic Games and a security sector coordinator for the Salt Lake Olympic Games.

Wilson leaves the ASU Police Department to join his colleagues at Sigma Threat Management Associates. His new assignment offers opportunities to travel to places like Australia and Canada to serve clients. He is excited about working with a team of leading experts in behavioral threat assessment and threat management, providing threat assessment and violence prevention strategies to businesses, educational institutions, high-profile families, foundations and government agencies.

Leaving ASU, however, will be bittersweet for Wilson, who has made many friends throughout the years.

“You’re not just a member of the police department. You’re a member of the ASU community,” he said. “You’re leaving the job, but you are also leaving a much broader group of colleagues and friends.”

One of his fellow co-workers is Sgt. Al Phillips who is retiring on June 30, the same day as Wilson. The two long-time colleagues were partners on patrol duty and worked on many joint assignments.

“My first selection for the Downtown Phoenix campus was Sgt. Al Phillips,” Wilson said. “It’s actually fitting we are going out together and retiring on the same day.”