Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas, who joined the LRPD in 1978 and was named chief in 2005, announced today he’ll retire in June. A full press release from the city is on the jump.
According to the police, Thomas’ career began after he came to the LRPD to complain about the way the department had handled the break-in of his car. “He was challenged to join the Department and make a difference if he thought he could do a better job.”
City Manager Bruce Moore will announce a hiring process to replace Thomas “in the coming weeks.”
LITTLE ROCK – Little Rock Police Department Chief Stuart Thomas announced plans for his retirement Friday. Thomas was appointed LRPD Chief on April 11, 2005. He joined LRPD in 1978 and has served honorably for 35 years.
“Chief Thomas has been a smart, effective leader for the Little Rock Police Department,” said Moore. “He has brought forward important changes to the Department and presided over a remarkable expansion of our public safety programs thanks, in part, to the new citizen-approved LRCent sales tax funding.”
“I appreciate Chief Thomas’ leadership and service to the City and the citizens of Little Rock,” Moore continued.
Since Thomas’ appointment as Chief, the Department has helped bring about a marked reduction in crime across the City, making 2013 one of the safest years in the past two decades, with crime rates near the lowest in more than 20 years.
“I have been afforded a remarkably fortunate career with the Department and I hope my time here has helped to contribute to the success of the whole,” said Thomas. “While I have seen significant change in this organization over the years, the one constant has been the dedication and effort of the men and women here who, day in and day out, place themselves in harm’s way for the greater good of this City.”
At the age of 21, Thomas came to LRPD to complain about the way the Department handled the break-in of his car. He was challenged to join the Department and make a difference if he thought he could do a better job. Thirty-five years later, Thomas will retire as the Chief of LRPD.
Thomas served at every progressive rank in the Department throughout his tenure. He has been a Patrolman, a Burglary and Homicide Detective, a Narcotics Supervisor and has commanded the Department’s Internal Affairs, Accreditation and Business Units. He served as Assistant Chief of Police for nine years prior to his retirement and subsequent return in 2005 as Chief of Police.
During his career, Thomas was selected as Officer of the Month twice and he was Officer of the Year in 1988 after being cited for his management of narcotic investigations.
Additionally, Thomas is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Executive Institute, the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection School, the Senior Management Institute for Police and the Leadership Greater Little Rock Session XII. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police. He has attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Chief Thomas is a life-long Little Rock resident.
Thomas’ retirement will be effective in June. Moore will announce plans for selecting the Department’s next Chief in the coming weeks.