Aurora Police Chief Thomas Announces Retirement
After leading the police department that protects and serves Illinois’ second largest city for the past seven and one-half years, Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas announced Sept. 15 he will retire effective Nov. 13.
“Serving as the chief of police has been an honor,” Thomas said. “Working alongside leaders, and both sworn and non-sworn members of the Police Department who continually dedicate themselves to public service has been my privilege. Crime has been significantly reduced — a truly huge accomplishment for which all members of our city are very thankful.”
Mayor Tom Weisner described Thomas as a dynamic leader who cares deeply about his community.
“From cadet to chief, he’s had a noble career in law enforcement right here in his hometown,” Weisner said. “Under his leadership, the Aurora Police Department was guided through turbulent times into the national spotlight for its success and its use of best practices. I consider Greg and his wife Julie to be two of the finest human beings that I know. While he will certainly be missed, Greg has left an indelible mark in the Aurora Police Department and on the entire city.”
Thomas, 55, began his Aurora Police career as a cadet in 1978 and worked his way through every rank ultimately reaching chief of police in 2008. Under his leadership, the city continued unprecedented decreases in crime, greatly reduced the number of traffic crashes, and focused on intelligence-led and community oriented policing. He also oversaw the move into the state-of-the art police headquarters that included a new digital radio system and 911 telephone system.
It is the technological advances for which Thomas may well be most remembered having also implemented automated fingerprint identification, electronic crash reporting, Leads-on-Line, and other systems that have improved efficiency and contributed to public safety.
Thomas has also become known as a strong advocate for Aurora through his work with several faith-based groups, business agencies and community organizations. He recently resurrected “Aurora Cares,” a collaborative group of various agencies working together to reduce violence and he also sits on the board of the Aurora Human Relations Commission.
During his career, Thomas excelled in most of the divisions of the Police Department, including patrol, investigations, support services, the Special Response Team and others. After his duties as a cadet, he was sworn in as a patrol officer in 1982, was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1993, lieutenant in 2003, commander in 2005, and deputy chief in 2007.
Thomas received the Kendall County Medal of Valor and was named the Exchange Club of Aurora’s Police Officer of the Year in 2005. He was also nominated for Officer of the Year in 1998 and has been the recipient of numerous department commendations and letters of appreciation.
Born in Aurora, Thomas graduated from East Aurora High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Lewis University and an MBA from Aurora University. He lives in Aurora with his wife, Julie, and also has three adult children: Todd, LeighAnn and Alexis.
For now, Thomas’s post-retirement plans consist of spending time with his family.
“Like all police department members, there have been many sacrifices my family has made over the years to accommodate my schedule,” he said. “It’s time that I try and pay them back for the years of support they showed me.”
SOURCE: city of Aurora press release