Larry Rickard retires as Marquette University's Department of Public Safety chief and director
Retired Sussex County Chief Zoning Inspector and Operations Manager Bud Rickard, who currently serves on the county’s board of adjustment, flew to Milwaukee, Wis., to surprise his son, Larry Rickard, at his retirement ceremony Sept. 13 from his position as Marquette University’s Department of Public Safety chief and director.
The younger Rickard was presented with awards of service by the university, the FBI, Secret Service, Milwaukee Police Department, Homeland Security, the City of Milwaukee and the Mayor of Milwaukee, who proclaimed Friday, Sept. 13 as Larry Rickard Day.
Former President Robert Wild told the crowd assembled for the going away ceremony that that Rickart's hard work has left a lasting impact. "You not only took over, you lifted us up," Father Wild said. "We have a very professional public safety organization."
Rickard is leaving to take a position as chief of campus safety for Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
According to an article by Matthew Kulling in the Sept. 12 edition of The Marquette Tribune, Rickard devoted 21 years of service to the Marquette community. Kulling writes, "During his tenure, Rickard led 80 professional and 100 student staff members who make up the department, which is staffed year-round, 24 hours a day. He installed 600 cameras and 200 blue light phones for emergencies around campus and also professionalized the force through improved training and hiring practices."
Before joining DPS, Rickard attended the West Point Preparatory Academy in New Jersey and was later recruited by UW-Whitewater to play football. He then served in the United States Army for 22 years. After getting out of the military, Rickard decided to go into public service by applying to DPS at Marquette.
Rickard began his career with DPS working the night shift. He worked as a life safety officer to improve the university’s evacuation plans and was later promoted to lieutenant shift commander and associate director before being named chief in 2000.
“I believe that if you work hard and that you’re kind to people and that you care about people, then amazing things can happen in your career,” Rickard said. “I really believe that, and it’s happened to me.”
DPS Sergeant Jill Weisensel said that Rickard has instilled a foundation of moral value for the department.
“Chief Rickard has proven that it is possible for an entire organization to put moral values into action,” Weisensel said. “Through his vision and mission, he led this department to becoming one of the best Jesuit public safety departments in the country. He instilled in his officers his ‘five imperatives’: quality customer service, visibility, teamwork, safety and security, and above all else, professionalism.”