Utah police chief resigning to serve LDS mission in Africa
Saratoga Springs Police Chief Gary Hicken announced he is retiring May 17 to serve as a mission president for the LDS Church in the Kenya Nairobi mission.
Hicken was hired in December 2006 to start the city's police department, which was up and running by July 2007, according to a news release.
Eddie Christensen will serve as acting police chief until a new chief is hired.
"I have loved the good people I have worked with and served and really hate to leave," said Chief Hicken in a written statement. "To have been able to help this city start their own police department has been a wonderful privilege for me and one I will never forget. I honestly believe we have developed a police department which provides high quality services to the community and one which knows the value of teamwork."
Hicken, who has been a police officer for 36 years, was as the chief for Buena Park, Calif., before coming to Saratoga Springs.
Mayor Mia Love said in a statement: "We are sad to lose Chief Hicken, but we wish him the best in this next chapter of his life. The LDS Church is the only organization we would let take Chief Hicken away from Saratoga Springs, otherwise we would fight tooth and nail to keep him."
Love said Hicken has been "an incredible asset to our city" and that his leadership was "integral to the development of our police department into the professional and quality force it is today."