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Thomas, 50, is an advocate for progressive reform in the criminal justice system, according to his campaign announcement. If elected, he aims to address problems in jails, including unsanitary work conditions for prison staff and inhumane living conditions for inmates. He also hopes to provide enhanced training for Detention Service officers and improve the lines of communication between them and management.
“I just found that there needed to be a change, and that there needs to be some common-sense law enforcement, especially the way law enforcement has been going for the last few years,” he told The Dallas Morning News.
Thomas’ experience for the position includes 24 years in law enforcement, with stints in the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Thomas was born and raised in the South Bronx neighborhood of New York by a single mother. After working in New York and then Miami, Thomas made Dallas home in 2020 after getting an upper management role in corporate security.
On his campaign website, Thomas outlined his other goals for the position, which include restructuring the sheriff’s department, implementing youth programs and addressing crimes against senior citizens, domestic violence survivors and members of the LGBT community.
“I felt I could make a positive change on a local level, and then hopefully, being able to restructure the sheriff’s department may be a blueprint for other law enforcement agencies to follow for restructuring,” Thomas said.
The Democratic candidates for the sheriff position, which include Thomas, Brown and Valdez, will face off in primaries on March 5, 2024. General elections take place the following November.