Rick & Associates

President & CEO

Richard Whitehead

  Send Email  •  (512)825-3821

Rick started his public service career in the Army in 1977 and in the civilian world as a Baytown TX policeman.  Joining the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO), Austin TX, in 1986; Rick worked his way up through the ranks as the agency grew from a few hundred to over fifteen hundred personnel.  Command positions included: Homicide, SWAT, White Collar Crime, Computer Forensics, Family Violence, Child Abuse, Intelligence, Crime Lab, 911-Communications, School Resource Officer, Canine (K-9), Lake Patrol, Traffic, Patrol Platoons, and the Field Training Program.   In 1992, Rick formed a (part-time) training and consulting firm and began instructing and consulting on Field Training Programs across the country. Expanding over the years to include investigative and leadership topics, evolving to an international presence.

​After retiring from TCSO, Rick was the CEO of Columbia County.  Among his accomplishments were the adoptions of a multi-million dollar budget after just one meeting and a dispatcher contract in two.

Rick’s administrative experience includes: directing high profile investigative units, SWAT, managing multi-million dollar budgets, employee compensation programs, and equipment solutions. Incident Command during natural disasters such as the Jarrell tornado, hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and events with influxes of over 60,000 attendees. As a member of the Operations Board for the Combined Transportation Emergency Communications Center (CTECC), Austin TX, he was part of a multi-jurisdictional team which brought to realization a regional digital radio and mobile data system that serves over a million people.

​His technical expertise includes: assessing unit efficiencies, design, review and implementation of training programs, instructor development, and investigative training and consultation. As a mentor and trainer, he created a Field Training Program singularly used by TCSO. His Officer in Training (OIT) model is widely adopted by agencies across the country.

Through Forensic Statement Analysis, Rick consults in high profile cases to detect deception in statements and interviews with agencies and firms across the country.


Bachelor degree from Midwestern State University in Criminal Justice and Public Administration

​Graduate of the FBI National Academy (197)

​Graduate of the Leadership and Command College of Texas (23)

​Certified Public Manager

​Certified National Incident Management System (NIMS) Instructor

​Certified National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Center Manager

Twice Published International Law Enforcement Educator & Trainers Journal (ILEETA)

Recognized Subject Matter Expert in Forensic Investigations, Leadership, and Field Training

Regular Instructor for the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)

Commendations for Outstanding Leadership

Vice President

Christopher Hinckley

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2018 - Present  Vice President Richard Whitehead & Assoc.

2012 - Present    Harker Heights TX Police Dept.

  •  Detective
  •  FTO Coordinator
  •  FTO Instructor

2000 - 2012   Corporate Asset Protection

Investigative Interviewing Skills

Jon Bodnar

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Jon began his law enforcement career in 1987 as a Marine Deputy with the Kootenai County ID Sheriff’s Office, in 1988 he moved to Corrections, and in 1993 was promoted to Sergeant. During his tenure, he served as training sergeant, transition team leader for a jail expansion project, and wrote policy and procedure. As a Sergeant, he was also tasked with conducting internal administrative investigations.

In 2004, Jon moved to the Backgrounds as an Investigator where he served until he retired in 2015. Between conducting internal investigations and background investigations Jon honed his investigative skills, conducting thousands of interviews, and has attended various Background and Interview Training courses. 

*All associates are Independent Contractors

FTO / Internal Affairs

Danny Canty

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Public Safety  27+Years

  • Harris County Sheriff’s Office 1990 - 1993
  • Travis County Sheriff’s Office 1993 - 2017,  Retired
  • Licensed Polygraph Examiner – Texas 27 years & New Mexico 5 yrs
  • Master Peace Officer and Master Corrections Officer
  • Certified Forensic Computer Examiner 
  • Instructor   Since 2005 
  • FTO 
  • Bachelor of Science In Law Enforcement  -    SWTSU – 1973
  • Guest Instructor at Texas State University 

Background Investigations

Jordan Ferguson

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Jordan joined the Milpitas California Police Department in 1985. During his time with Milpitas he was a Field Training Officer, Accident Re-constructionist and Auto Theft Investigator. In 1991 Jordan joined the Idaho State Police for several years before becoming the Chief Criminal Investigator for the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office in Coeur D Alene, ID. He stayed with the prosecutor’s office until he was hired by the Spokane Police Department in 1999. Jordan has worked in patrol and traffic; he was an FTO and part of the Neighborhood Resource Officer division.

​Jordan became a polygraph examiner in 2003 which started his interest in background investigations. In 2009 Jordan became the lead background investigator and was tasked with ensuring the hiring process matched best practices across the country. Jordan has earned the title of Certified Forensic Law Enforcement Polygraph Examiner from the American Association of Police Polygraphists. He is also a certified PCSOT (Post Conviction Sex Offender Treatment) polygraph examiner and a full member of the American Polygraph Association.

​Jordan earned his BS from Lewis and Clark State College and has completed his coursework for his MA in Criminal Justice from Washington State University, Spokane. He has been able to focus on the Neuroscience aspect of police work while studying under Dr. Bryan Vila and assisting the S.H.O.T. (Simulated Hazardous Occupational Tasks) Lab, part of the Sleep and Performance Research Center. Jordan is focusing on the relationship between stress and in custody death as well as looking at heart rate variability (HRV) as a possible contribution to the polygraph. Jordan expects to graduate in 2013.

​Jordan has two Special Interest Groups (SIG) available on Leo.gov, NALEBI (The National Association of Law Enforcement Background Investigators) and EDIC (Excited Delirium and In Custody Death).

Peer to Peer / PTSD

Chris Orton

  Send Email  •  (512)517-4179

Instructor Detective Chris Orton takes attendees through the signs and symptoms of PTSD tailored to ALL those in the public safety environment, from the first responder, other employees, to spouses, other and extended family.  By taking attendees through his personal journey, Chris has helped thousands break through the stigma of processing the feelings or emotions experienced in our profession. Recognizing signs and symptoms for yourself or others and that it is okay to ask for or offer help.

Chris retired after 29 years of service, starting as a Corrections/Detention officer, moving to Patrol as a Deputy, and retiring as a Detective in 2016.  Chris’s investigative experience includes: Major Crimes, Child Abuse, Juvenile, Burglary, an Auto Theft Task Force, and Animal Cruelty. Having experienced the high stress of his assignments he is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), and Peer to Peer Support (P2P). He was an active member of the Travis County Sheriff’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team and the P2P Initiative, upto his retirement, and remains active in the Stephen Ministry of his church.  Chris remains a huge proponent in the value of Peer to Peer support.

For past six years, he has instructed Peer to Peer Support (P2P) and PTSD for public safety agencies, various associations, County and District Attorneys and Investigators,  as well as Child Protective Services, Court employees, and family members. 

Primary International Instructor / Forensic Statement Analyst

Ray Hilburn

  Send Email  •  (512)636-8498

Ray has been a civilian peace officer, investigator and instructor for over twenty years and served in a variety of diverse assignment including international law enforcement operations in support of American and Coalition military forces throughout the Middle East.

He was recognized for his service to the United States Army in Iraq with two Superior Civilian Service medals and the Commanders Award for Public Service. He received Commendations from the Salvadorian Special Forces in Al Kut, Iraq for assistance and guidance to their mission as well.

*All associates are independent contractors.