From 2005 to November 2022, Colton Police Department’s Corporal Rich Randolph helped create and integrate a handful of successful youth programs, some of which were implemented into departments nationally.
Randolph, who is no longer with Colton PD as of last month, accepted a role as Cuesta College Police Department’s chief of police, where he is continuing to impact the next generation of leaders and law enforcement positively.
In his time with the City, he created and coordinated programs such as Cops and Jocks (now nationwide), Operation Giving, Homework with Officer Randolph, SRO for a Day, and Colton At Risk Teens (CART) – to name a few.
“The CART Program was a highlight for me during my time with Colton PD. We started the paramilitary academy in partnership with the school district, the court, and probation. Since then, we’ve graduated 450 teenagers and helped prepare them to be leaders,” said Randolph.
What makes Randolph unique in his craft and leadership ability is that he genuinely worked from the ground up. He started as a police cadet at 22 years old and worked almost every position in-between, which has prepared him for his new position as chief of police of Cuesta in San Luis Obispo.
“I’ve worked in law enforcement for 26 years and got my start as a police cadet. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work as a reserve police officer, school resource officer, dispatcher, police officer, and corporal, which have led me to my current role as chief of police,” continued Randolph.
The High Desert and Ventura County Native, now 49, says he was inspired to work in law enforcement when he was a security guard at the courthouse where the Rodney King Trial was being held.
“During that time, I had the opportunity to meet dozens of officers at the trial, and when the riots started, I knew that I wanted to become an officer and try to make a difference in the community,” Randolph said.
While Randolph is no longer with Colton PD, his mission and values remain intact as he is still working towards building strong relationships and breaking down barriers between the community (specifically youth and young adults) and law enforcement.
“I’ll always be proud of how Colton PD stayed together and handled business. And to the next generation of law enforcement officers in Colton and beyond, we need you. You are appreciated. Never forget where you came from,” said Randolph.
“And finally, shoutout to my family and friends in Colton; I will always support you and anything I can do for you, I am here,” concluded Randolph.