John Thomas is the Chief of the University of Southern California Department of Public Safety. Prior to his appointment, he spent 21 years as a member of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) where he retired at the rank of Lieutenant in 2005 to accept a position as Deputy Chief of Police for the University of the District of Columbia Department of Public Safety & Emergency Management in Washington D.C.
Thomas holds a BA in Political Science/Liberal Arts and also completed graduate course work in Criminal Justice at the University of Virginia. He holds California State Police Officer Standards in Training (POST) Certificates for the Basic, Advanced, Supervisory and Management levels. He is also a graduate of the West Point Leadership Program, the Los Angeles Police Department Command Development Program and the 218th Session of the FBI National Academy.
As a member of the Los Angeles Police Department, he was assigned to the Department’s Gang Enforcement Detail in South Los Angeles, Operation South Bureau CRASH and worked undercover narcotic enforcement as a member of the Department’s FALCON (Focused Attack Linking Community Organizations and Neighborhoods) Unit. While assigned to FALCON he was awarded the City of Los Angeles’ City Angel Award for outstanding community enhancement and was instrumental in the unit being awarded the Department’s Meritorious Unit Citation. In addition, he has held administrative positions in LAPD’s Employee Relations, Office of Operations and Planning and Research Division.
Thomas is a member of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation and the FBI National Academy Associates.