Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in recreational administration in 1969, Alex Ford was among the inaugural group of professionals to pass the Board of Behavioral Science Examiner’s “Registered Recreator,” a State of California professional achievement, in 1969. While in college, he was a sworn member of the U.S. Naval Reserve, receiving an honorable discharge on February 12, 1969. He became a California licensed private investigator on February 17, 1975. The Board of Behavioral Science Examiners certified Mr. Ford on October 19, 1981, as a professional California marriage and family therapist.
During his final university semester, during a Juvenile Delinquency class, guest speakers (executives of the Los Angeles County Probation Department) made a pitch to the students and provided the exam date. As a result of high scores received in a four-examination process, Mr. Ford was selected to the Field Division as a trainee without the usual requirement of Detention Services experience. Sworn in 1969, he enjoyed a 37-year career with Los Angeles County. He served on the Acceptance Board at Las Palmas while being a caseworker. From 1993 to 2006, Mr. Ford volunteered for work in the specialized gang supervision unit, resulting in a partially detached service with several police departments.
A supervisor suggested that he pursue a graduate degree and Mr. Ford earned a Master of Arts in correctional counseling in Orange, California, in March 1980. He served his fellow probation deputies as a union steward and was awarded a recognition plaque upon retirement by the union president. He was honored as a master expert by the executive director of the Los Angeles County Intensive Gang Supervision Unit in March 2006. In a peer competition in 2004, he earned the title of Journeyman of the Year. In 2005, the Department’s enhancement and recognition committee gave him the Silver Award of Excellence. For supporting education, Mr. Ford was recognized by El Camino High School for outstanding support between 2003 and 2004.
In 2011, Mr. Ford became the executor of his parents’ estate and trust after each reached the age of 91. They willed 40% of their estate to charity, so he established the R.D. Ford Foundation as owner, president and board member. He and the board of directors have, to date, provided more than 65 grants to 48 different charities since its inception. One of the foundation’s goals is preservation of automotive history. The foundation has thus contributed to the Petersen Automotive Museum, which provides tours and career information to grammar school children of all classes, in order to achieve that goal. In 1996, Mr. Ford began a genealogy search of information regarding his grandfather, who was a person of note militarily in America, the UK and the Philippines. He is currently writing a biography of his grandfather’s service on four continents in five decades under three flags.