Thomas featured in state

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 22, 2000

‘Sheriffs Star’ magazine


Staff Writer

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Oct. 21, 2000 10 PM

Sheriffs across the state are reading about Pike County’s Sheriff Russell Thomas.

Thomas is featured in the summer 2000 issue of the Alabama Sheriffs Association’s publication "Alabama Sheriffs Star."

The cover photo is of Thomas standing in front of the Pike County Courthouse and the inside story tells of his "Reaching for Pike’s Peak."

In addition to the words, photographs showing Thomas with everyone from the governor to neighbors and friends tell the story of the man who has "an open-door policy" for the citizens and prides himself on "always be accessible whether I am at work or at home."

In the story, Thomas claims "work is my hobby" and talks about the job he enjoys, the things he’s accomplished and the plans he has for the future.

Since taking office on Jan. 17, 1995, Thomas has been busy and admits he hasn’t taken a full week of vacation since being sworn in as Pike County’s sheriff.

In those five years, Thomas has seen his department grow ­ double the budget, more deputies and twice as many correctional officers, better equipment and a toll free line for citizens to report their concerns.

The Pike County native said there is "nothing else I would rather be doing."

And, he must mean it since he’s been in law enforcement since beginning as a Troy State University police officer at the age of 21.

Then, in 1987, he joined the department he now oversees. Only about three years after becoming a deputy, Thomas was appointed former Sheriff Harold Anderson’s chief deputy.

He was elected to the top spot in 1994 and ran unopposed in 1998.

Being selected for the feature in the publication of his peers is, yet, another honor Thomas can claim, in addition to the multitude of activities and organizations he’s affiliated with and his family.

"It’s nice to be recognized among your peers and be profiled in the ‘Alabama Sheriffs Star,’" Thomas said.

Now in his second term, Thomas said it’s also an honor to be selected in "what I hope to be early in my career."

He said the magazine story will also allow other sheriff’s to take a look at and see the structure of his department of which he is very proud.