Tim Thomas brings both academic and real world experience to the job

November 7, 2021

By David Rowe, Associate Editor

Timothy Thomas’ interest in law enforcement began at an early age. He became a police cadet in San Leandro at age 14, according to his profile on the Carrington College website, where, until recently, he served as director of the criminal justice corrections program at the Stockton campus.  If the Peralta Board of Trustees approves his appointment during the closed session of its November 9 meeting, Thomas will become Peralta’s new Director of Public Safety, a spot for which the district has been reviewing permanent candidates for nearly a year. 

Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree  in criminal justice from California State University Stanislaus.  He also earned a master’s degree in criminology from American Public University, according to the Carrington profile. He was the first member of his family to graduate from college, according to a 2015 article in the East Bay Times

Thomas became an adjunct professor at the Institute of Technology in Modesto in 2018 and moved to Carrington College the following year, according to the Carrington website.  

Prior to his teaching career, Thomas served as  police services officer at Contra Costa College in San Pablo. The 2015 East Bay Times article reported on his successful efforts to organize the annual holiday toy drive at the school, a role he had played since 2009. In that article, Thomas shared his personal story.  He grew up in Oakland with a father who struggled with addiction and a mother who acted as a single parent with “little money for gifts.”  Thomas “made it his mission that no kid ever felt the way he did on those Christmases when there was nothing for him under the tree,” according to the article. 

Thomas’ position as a campus officer was not without risk.  In 2014, he was struck  by a student with a suspended license during a traffic stop, as reported by The Advocate, the Contra Costa College student publication.  The student was arrested according to the Advocate report. 

Thomas’ first position in law enforcement was with the Stockton Parole Office, which he joined in 2000, according to his bio on the San Joaquin Delta College site. The bio also asked Thomas to name the hardest thing he had done. He replied it “was entering the police academy and passing the exams weekly.  The amount of pressure it put on you mentally can take a toll during the process.”

Tim Thomas is set to become Peralta’s next Director of Safety pending approval by the Board of Trustees (Source: Carrington.edu)

Once confirmed, Thomas will be working closely with Paul Llanez, the CEO of Knowledge Saves Lives (KSL), a Merced-based consulting firm that has worked with the Peralta district since January of 2021.  Llanez has been serving as acting Director of Safety while the district worked to permanently fill the position.  The board approved an $85,000 extension for KSL, covering the period through January 3, 2022. This brings KSL’s total consulting fees to $209,879.

One of Thomas’ first challenges will be a new possible round of requests for proposals (RFPs) for the unarmed security services providing protection for the Peralta campuses and district offices.

Read The Citizen’s retrospective about Peralta Security for the last year 

Marina Security Services is currently the exclusive vendor providing security  services.  A contract extension for Marina through June 30, 2022 will be considered by the Board at its November 9 meeting.  The amount of that contract extension is nearly $5.4 million. The exhibit attached to the contract states that “Safety Services personnel will be unarmed, and a two-way radio device will be provided with connectivity to other District staff and the District’s dispatcher.”  

Based on interviews with a number of Marina security guards at two Peralta campuses, The Citizen recently reported that only the supervisors were issued walkie talkies, The regular security guards we spoke with had to use their personal cell phones to communicate and incidents. 

The Citizen received an unconfirmed report that the district has now ordered a number of two way communication devices for the security team.  We reached out to Mark Johnson, Peralta’s executive director of marketing, communications & public relations, but he declined to comment calling the information “tactical and proprietary.”