Chief of Police

Photo of Chief ThomasDr. Joseph E. Thomas, Jr.
Chief of Police


Dr. Joseph E. Thomas, Jr. is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University’s Doctoral Program in Education. He holds a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership and Counseling, a Specialist Degree (33 semester hours above a Masters) in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University, a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Alcorn State University, Loran, MS, where he was an All-American Athlete and captain of the football team, and an Associate of Arts Degree in Law Enforcement from Jackson Community College.

Chief Thomas has extensive training in police, fire and emergency management operations. He is a graduate of the Michigan State Police School of Management, the National Fire Academy (Executive Fire Officer), Emmittsburg, MD, the F.B.I. National Academy, Quantico, VA, the United States Secret Service Executive School, Washington, D.C. and is a Colonel (Honorary Commander) of the 645th Area Support Group United States Army Reserve and is the first Michigan Ambassador to the United States Army Reserve, who reports directly to the Office of the Chief Army Reserve Officer (OCAR) in the Pentagon and the U.S. Congress, and holds the rank, honor and privileges of a Major (two-star) General.

Chief Thomas was appointed to the Southfield police Department on April 8, 1991. He has over thirty-three (33) years of public safety service; as Director of Public Safety for the City of Albion, MI, and as a Detective, Sergeant, and Acting Lieutenant for the Police Department in Jackson, MI.

He is a member and holds office in several national, state and local police, fire and U.S. Army Reserve organizations; including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Fire Chief Association, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Fire Chiefs Association, Oakland County Police Chiefs Association, American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), Police Executive Research Forum (PER) and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), local and international Rotary and Optimist Clubs. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Dr. Thomas is an adjunct professor at Eastern Michigan University, Oakland University, as well as Oakland and Muskegon Community Colleges. He also teaches at the Oakland and Schoolcraft Police Academies in basic and advanced training. He teaches at Eastern Michigan University schools of Police and Fire Staff Command. He has also taught special topics a the F.B.I Academy and the National Fire Academy.