It was an honor to have Chief Deputy Thomas on the Podcast. Matt has dedicated his life to serve and protect and has done so with the utmost professionalism and dignity.
Matthew Thomas is an Arizona native, who has lived in Pinal County since 1987 and has been employed with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office since 1993. Matt started his career with PCSO in Detention, moving into a Deputy position in 1994, and has promoted through the ranks to the position of Chief Deputy.
Chief Thomas’ assignments have included being a Deputy assigned to Patrol, the Traffic Unit and as a Detective in the Narcotics unit. In 2001, Chief Thomas was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and as a Sergeant he supervised patrol squads, and held assignments as the Training Sergeant, Narcotics Task Force Sergeant, and Traffic Unit Sergeant. In 2009, Chief Thomas became the first Motor Sergeant for the first Motor squad in PCSO history. In December 2010, Chief Thomas promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, and as a Lieutenant, Chief Thomas has held command of the Pinal Regional SWAT Team, the West Desert Task Force, Property Crimes, Persons Crimes, the Crime Scene Technicians, the Pinal County Narcotics Task Force, Pinal County Anti-Smuggling Unit, and as the Regional Commander for the San Tan Valley region, which is the highest populated and unincorporated area of Pinal County with approximately 95,000 residents. Chief Thomas was also member of the Pinal Regional SWAT Team from 1997 to 2014 and 2016 until his promotion to Chief Deputy.
In addition to his normal duties, Chief Thomas has been an adjunct instructor and acted as a Recruit Training Officer at the Regional Police Academy in Pinal County, and was also assigned as Interim Director of this same Police Academy in 2005/2006. Chief Thomas was a member of the AZPOST Ethics Committee, holds numerous Instructor Certifications for Law Enforcement courses, is a graduate of the Leadership In Police Organizations developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy 261st session. Additionally, Chief Thomas was the Eastern Regional Director for the Arizona Tactical Officer's Association from 2011 to 2013, and the Vice-President from 2013 to 2017. Chief Thomas has instructed law enforcement around the U.S. in the area of border related issues and Mexican cartels, speaking and teaching on these subjects for organizations such as the National Rifle Association and the National Tactical Officer’s Association.
As Chief Deputy for PCSO, Thomas is 2nd in command of the Sheriff’s Office consisting of 233 sworn staff, 207 Detention staff, and 234 civilian support staff and volunteers in a county that is 5,400 square miles with a population of approximately 500,000. Chief Thomas manages an overall budget for the Sheriff’s Office of $47.1 million dollars, oversees all PCSO operations for sworn Deputies, Detention and Civilian staff and acts as the Sheriff’s Senior Executive Officer.