Lt. Randall Dickey, who has replaced Gloria Gressman as Malibu's sheriff's liaison, talks about his 23-year career as a sheriff's deputy, traffic issues in the city and family life.
By Stephen Dorman/Special to The Malibu Times
Malibu's new sheriff's liaison, Lt. Randall Dickey, has spent more than half his life in law enforcement. In that time he has served in a variety of distinct posts throughout Los Angeles County.
Dickey, 50, has worked as a patrolman in South Central Los Angeles, served eight years on S.W.A.T., trained with the Navy Seals during the 1984 Summer Olympics, coordinated tactical enforcement for county train lines and worked on the Marijuana Enforcement Team.
Now, Dickey is beginning the next phase of his career-day shift watch commander of the Lost Hills Sheriff's Station and chief liaison for the city of Malibu.
Lt. Gloria Gressman previously held the title of Malibu liaison. She continues to work out of the Lost Hills headquarters, but will be retiring within the next several months.
"We basically work hand-in-hand with whatever law enforcement the city is requesting, serving as a face for the Sheriff's Department," Dickey said of the position of liaison. "I'm attending all of the city council and public safety meetings. Malibu is unique in that they request us to also be involved in their staff meetings, so I attend all of those meetings, too."
Dickey said traffic has been of the utmost importance to local residents since he became watch commander 10 months ago.
"Traffic is our biggest concern," he said. "Pacific Coast Highway is Malibu's main thoroughfare, it's their main street so anything that affects that thoroughfare is a concern to all of the residents here."
He added that serious crimes are always an issue with the department, but that Malibu and its surrounding communities such as Calabasas, Westlake, Agoura and Hidden Hills, remain some of the safest places to live and work in the county.
"It's the lowest crime rate of most of the stations in the county of Los Angeles," Dickey said. "It's very few and far between-the violent crimes-not that they don't occur, but it's very infrequent."
When he's not at the office, Dickey enjoys traveling with his wife of 30 years, Matilda, and their two children Patrick and Gabrielle.
He met Matilda, who was born in Holland, while in 10th grade and the couple quickly became best friends. The two married in 1974. "Thirty years of marriage is unheard of in this profession," Dickey said. "She's the one that keeps me in check, keeps my feet on the ground. When I was working from seven in the morning to two in the morning while at narcotics, she was the one that kept the kids on the right path. My wife deserves all of the credit."
Patrick, 25, recently graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in classical history. He is currently attending graduate school with the hopes of one day working in Congress.
Gabrielle, 17, is a junior at Moorpark High School and works as a camp councilor for young children during the summer.
In addition to spending time with his family, Dickey enjoys maintaining peak physical fitness by lifting weights and practicing martial arts. "I'm a second-degree black belt, been doing it since I was about 16 years old," he said. "I just do it for the fun and the exercise. It's better exercise than always pushing iron all of the time."