Thom went on to complete his formal education, earning a Bachelor in Science degree from Indiana University. He became interested in law enforcement when he was back home in Indiana, and from that point forward he became experienced in virtually every facet of police work. Thom started as a police officer and worked a beat. He then moved through the ranks as a Sector Robbery Detective, Homicide Detective, Sergeant, Unit Supervisor in Homicide, Commander of Training Sections, Homicide Shift Supervisor, Field Training Lieutenant, Arson Branch Commander and Drug Task Force Section Supervisor.
His three years in the Arson Task Force allied him with the Fire Department and he earned Arson Investigation Certification. Five years in the federally funded Drug Task Force involved six different counties and two cities. When he became Supervisor of the Metropolitan Gang Task Force Section of the Criminal Investigations Division, Thom enjoyed the privilege of training with the Executive Fellowship Program as an attached FBI Agent. His pride in that assignment is reflected in one of his treasures, an FBI badge and qualifications certificate that he has kept displayed in his office. He calls that period with the FBI “A big deal as I got to work with the FBI.” He also had a U.S. Marshal designation when he worked drug cases. This abbreviated list of his qualifications demonstrates that Thom is a very unusually accomplished law enforcement professional.
He had been visiting southwest Florida for many years when he came upon Marco Island. As fate would have it, that was the time when Marco Island was setting up its own Police Department. Thom applied for a vacant position, was hired and immediately started working on background checks and other necessary functions to get the new department underway.
Once again Thom demonstrated his abilities and rose to become Captain and, ultimately, Chief. After becoming Chief, he found time to successfully complete the excellent Leadership Marco Program. Under his watch the Marco Island Police Department has become one of the finest in Florida, and Marco Island’s crime rate continues to be among the lowest in the state.
As Thom moves into retirement Marco Islanders can be grateful for his quiet, resolute stewardship. Oh, that nice guy you see polishing an antique car in mint condition…that’s him!