SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The police chief of a Utah town is retiring to serve a Mormon church mission in Africa.
Saratoga Springs Police Chief Gary Hicken will leave his post of seven years on May 17.
He will assume duties as president of a mission in Nairobi, Kenya, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Hicken organized a police department for Saratoga Springs in 2006. He had been police chief for Buena Park, Calif., where he put in 36 years as an officer.
Eddie Christensen will serve as acting police chief while Saratoga Springs hires a new chief.
Mayor Mia Love says the Mormon church is the only organization she'd allow to take away her police chief. She calls Hicken an incredible asset who built a professional police department.