Truett A. Ricks of Richmond, leader in law enforcement, dies at age 78

kward1@herald-leader.comMarch 18, 2014 

A leader in law enforcement circles, Truett A. Ricks, 78, of Richmond, died Tuesday at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington.

Mr. Ricks spent 14 years as dean of the Eastern Kentucky University College of Law Enforcement, now known as the College of Justice and Safety. He also worked as associate dean and professor in the college.

Beginning in 1975, he spent two years as commissioner of the Kentucky State Police under then-Gov. Julian Carroll.

He was a former chairman of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council.

Lexington police Chief Ronnie Bastin said Mr. Ricks "was very approachable" and "knew his business very well."

"I considered him a friend to the Lexington police department and a friend to me," Bastin said.

Born in Bolivar, La., Mr. Ricks began his career in 1953 as a clerk for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C., and on many occasions met J. Edgar Hoover, said his son, Bobby Ricks.

Later, after joining the Memphis Police Department, Bobby Ricks said his dad escorted Elvis Presley on one occasion in 1958.

Mr. Ricks saved the uniform he wore that day and several years ago gave it to his sister, a big Elvis fan, Bobby Ricks said.

He received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Memphis; then, while working as an assistant professor at Florida State University, he earned a doctorate.

Mr. Ricks wrote several textbooks on physical security and in retirement worked as a consultant.

Just three days ago, working from his hospital bed, he completed a book he was co-authoring with his son and grandson, Bobby Ricks said.

Mr. Ricks was a longtime Mason and a member of the Oleika Shrine Temple.

Besides his son, he is survived by a daughter, Tammy Ricks, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Arrangements are incomplete at Care Cremation and Funeral Service.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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