The faculty teaching in the Homeland Security program each have over 25 years of experience working in public safety programs. Besides their careers in law enforcement, the fire services and the military, each has worked in homeland security and emergency management roles in public service. They bring their unique experiences and academic portfolios to each class. As leading academic practitioners in public safety, the faculty brings current and relevant curriculum to each class from various perspectives that encompass the homeland security enterprise.
Homeland Security Program Coordinator
Dr. Flores served 27 years in the Navy specializing in law enforcement, physical security, antiterrorism and force protection. Dr. Flores enlisted in the Navy as a recruit and was promoted to the enlisted rank of Senior Chief Master-At-Arms (E8) before receiving a commission as a Navy Officer. Retiring as a Lieutenant Commander, he has led police departments, emergency management programs, fire services and served on staffs responding to earthquakes, tsunamis and other humanitarian operations.
Career highlights include serving as the Chief of Security for US Naval Central Command, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the First Gulf War; Security Department Head (Chief of Police) on the USS Guadalcanal (LPH 7); Naval Station San Diego; and USS BLUERIDGE (LCC 19). Dr. Flores also served as the Officer-in-Charge for the Navy Deserter Apprehension Program, Absentee Collection Unit, Seattle; Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Law Enforcement and Physical Assistance Team Pacific (equivalent to a police POST agency); and, as Division Head, Plans, Policy and Readiness for Antiterrorism/Force Protection for the Commander Pacific Fleet.
Dr. Flores was also simultaneously assigned as a Command Legal Officer for three commands. Dr. Flores joined Rio Hondo College in 2006 and has served as the Director of Public Safety, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for Public Safety and Dean of Public Safety. Dr. Flores also served as the college’s Emergency Manager. He is currently a faculty member and is the program coordinator for Homeland Security.
Don Mason is a Professor in Public Safety teaching for 20 years in the Administration of Justice, Corrections and Homeland Security. Mr. Mason also served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the Public Safety and Business Divisions. Mr. Mason was also the Interim Dean of Arts, Cultural Programs and Continuing Education.
Mr. Mason began his career in law enforcement – first as a Deputy Sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and, later as a police officer and Sergeant with the Los Angeles School District Police. His assignments include custody, patrol officer, campus officer, field training officer, training sergeant, and special response team sergeant.
Don has also managed the Rio Hondo College Emergency Management Program, conducted numerous training sessions for responding to emergencies and active shooter situations. Mr. Mason has served in national working groups on emergency management and has been consulted by fellow emergency managers from the US and Canada.
Mr. Mason is a member of the International Association of Emergency Managers and served as a presenter and moderator for FEMA’s Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Symposiums.
Mr. Mason holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Workforce Education, with an emphasis in Training and Development, and a Master’s Degree in Education, with an emphasis in Information Systems and Distance Education, from Capella University. Currently, he is a doctoral student at Grand Canyon University.
Mr. Mason is a co-columnist for the ASPA’s PA Times and has written articles on law enforcement, fire technology and homeland security. He also co-authored a chapter on Homeland Security Education in the book, Empowerment at The Tower.
Chief Tracy E Rickman has been a professional firefighter and educator for 35 years. As a firefighter in the United States Air Force, Chief Rickman started as a firefighter from 1982 to 1990. He was a driver operator, Captain and certified as a crash rescue firefighter at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota.
While on activity duty, Captain Rickman earned his Associate Degree from the Community College of the Air Force and his under graduate degree in Marketing Management from Park College located in Missouri. Chief Rickman was hired as a training officer for the Northrop Grumman B-2 Division Fire Department in 1990. He was promoted to Assistant Chief of Operations and Training in 1995 in Pico Rivera, California. Chief Rickman was hired by South Pasadena FD in late 1996 and was also hired by Rio Hondo College in 1997, where he currently oversees the Fire Academy and Regional Homeland Response Center in Santa Fe Springs CA.
Chief Rickman has co-authored one book on fire behavior and as written several articles on emergency management and public administration. Chief Rickman holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Laverne and is ABD (all but dissertation) with his doctoral degree. Chief Rickman is an outreach instructor in hazardous materials response at the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) and is a certified instructor with the California State Fire Marshal’s office (CSFM).
Chief Rickman has taught courses at Cal State Long Beach (professional studies program) and at Cal State LA (Fire Administration program). He currently teaches ethics, public administration and public personnel management at California Baptist University in Riverside California. Chief Rickman has seven children including a Son that served as a Navy Corpsman while in IRAQ with the 1st LAR, Camp Pendleton and a Daughter that was a 1st LT in the United States Marine Corps.