Friday, October 18, 2013
With 26 years in the Air Force Security Forces, an Associate’s in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor’s in Workforce Education, a Masters in higher Education and 19 years with the Summerville Police Department, 63-year-old Lt. Ron L. Thomason of Summerville has done a lot with his life.
He grew up in Detroit and joined the Air Force after high school. He received his degrees from Northern Michigan, Maryland and Southern Illinois universities.
Retiring from the Air Force in 1994, after two tours of duty in Viet Nam, he came to SPD and has been here ever since, he says.
In addition to his police academy training, he has completed detective school, training in police photography, narcotics surveillance, elder and child abuse and traffic school.
He started in patrol, then became a detective, then a School Resource Officer, then back to patrol and, finally, traffic.
“They were all good,” he says, “but I like traffic best…you get out more.”
Thomason says he enjoyed being a detective because you get to see cases to the end.
His next step up the career ladder would be captain, he says. “If I get promoted, great - I just do the best job I can.”
He does note, however, that he’s “done just about everything [he] could do in law enforcement.”
“I’ve decided I’d like to teach in law enforcement,” he says. “I did all the instructor’s schools in the Air Force.”
His worst case, he says, as a police officer was the homicide of an elderly woman. “She didn’t do anything, she didn’t deserve to die.” He tells of the killer - who was caught - being high on crack and needing money. “He didn’t have to kill her.”
His best experience, he smiles, came after he was an SRO.
“One of my old partners came and got me and showed me a young man in the Air Force. I didn’t recognize him until he reminded me of an experience at school and told me he was in the Air Force because of what my partner Officer S. Williams and I did for him. He was constantly in trouble [in school] and one day was ready to fight and we calmed him down…it could have turned in another direction.”
Thomason and his wife, Sharon, who is the after school coordinator at Northwood Academy, are the parents of two boys - Ray, 41 and Rodney, 39 - and grandparents of three - William, 9, Lindsey, 8, and Marcus, 7. Oh, and two schnauzers - Max and Calvin.
In his off time, he is a professional photographer. “I’m good,” he says. “We are a team,” referring to his wife. They shoot weddings and senior portraits and participate in the Operation Love program - a national organization that takes photos of families to send to service members overseas, free of charge.
He is a substitute teacher at Northwood Academy.
He and his wife also enjoy cooking and are creating new recipes to compile into a family cookbook to pass on.
And, occasionally, he says, he will help his wife redecorate the house.
“I am always into sports,” he chuckles, “ and a fan of baseball - the Detroit Tigers of course.
He likes to read and his favorite reading material is the Bible.
Once he and his wife retire, they plan to travel. They want to return to Colonial Williamsburg and go to Alaska.
Thomason has already traveled the rest of the world while in the Air Force including Europe, Japan, Thailand, Guam, the Philippines and Kenya.