After 37 years of law enforcement experience, Des Moines Police Chief, Ken Thomas this week announced his retirement from law enforcement, effective June 30, 2023.

Chief Thomas started his career as a Cadet and Police Services Assistant for the Olympia Police Department.

In 1989 he was hired by the City of Kent as a police officer where he worked his way through the ranks, patrol officer, detective, administrative officer, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, lieutenant, captain and then Chief.

In May, 2018, Thomas was hired as Police Chief of the Des Moines Police Department.

Some of his career highlights and Department accomplishments include:

  • Attended the FBI National Academy
  • Attended the Senior Management Institute of Policing
  • Served as President of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
  • Established participation in regional initiatives to include:
    • Valley Special Weapons and Tactics
    • Generalist and Narcotics K9 teams
    • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshall’s Service, and United States Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force Participation
  • Implemented body worn camera program for Officers
  • Created the Crisis Response Unit where mental health professional staff engage in assisting people in crisis
  • Provided leadership on the Pacific Highway South Violence Prevention Project
  • Implementation of Flock anti-crime cameras to impact violent crime
  • Increased technology to enhance effectiveness:
    • Cell phone forensics
    • Records management
    • Interview technology
  • Narcan and Automatic External Defibrillators in all Department vehicles to increase life-saving capabilities
  • Partnered with South King Fire and Rescue and City Administration to establish a permanent Emergency Operations Center

Search is on for new Police Chief

The City has contracted with the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs (WASPC) for a nationwide recruitment for a Police Chief. This process will include public participation.

“We want to thank Chief Thomas for his years of dedicated service to law enforcement and to his service to the City of Des Moines, staff and residents and the excellence of his term as Police Chief,” city officials said. “We wish him well.”