Sheriff Russell Thomas is a lifelong resident of Pike County. He was elected as the county's Chief Law Enforcement Officer in 1994 in record numbers by receiving the most votes ever in Pike County history. He was re-elected in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022.
He was born in Pike County to Emory and Katherine Thomas and grew up in Goshen, Alabama where he learned the value of hard work and that you should earn what you get. He attended Goshen High School, LBW Junior College and Troy State University. He began his law enforcement career working as a campus police officer at Troy State University in 1985. His career with Pike County Sheriff's Department began as a deputy under Sheriff Harold Anderson and was later promoted to Chief Deputy.
Sheriff Thomas has been married to Jodi Pierce Thomas for 31 years. She is a speech pathologist who has worked in the public schools for 30 years. The Thomas' have two children, Russ and Kati, and are all members of Goshen Baptist Church. Sheriff Thomas enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports and hunting with his son.
Sheriff Thomas is a member of several professional organizations. He served as President of the Alabama Sheriff's Association in 2007 and is a member of the National Sheriff's Association. He served as President for the 5300 members of the Alabama Peace Officers Association in 2013-2014 and is a past Board Member of the Alabama Peace Officer's Annuity and Benefit Fund that manages a 35 million dollar fund. He also is an Executive Board Member of the Drug Task Force and a Member of the Alabama Jail Association.
He has also served as a voting commission member twice for the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center and has served as an Advisory Member of the Judicial Study Commission, the Alabama Child Death Review Team, and also has previously served as an Advisory Member to the Alabama Sentencing Commission for the Chief Justice and a past board member of the Alabama Sheriff's Youth Ranches.
Sheriff Thomas is very community oriented and has been instrumental by helping with several school and community projects. He is also involved in civic activities with the Senior Centers and a very strong supporter of the Pike County Volunteer Firemen. Each fireman is appointed by the Sheriff to serve as a Pike County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue Team Member. He is actively involved with youth sports and has served as football, baseball, and basketball coach. He is a member of Pike County Cattleman's Association, Troy Masonic Lodge, Troy Rotary Club, Pike County Chamber of Commerce, Farm City Committee, Fraternal Order of Police and 911 Board Chairman.
Sheriff Thomas has achieved several goals he set when he was elected. His department has been instrumental in solving several major crimes as well as numerous drug arrest. Drug education programs in local schools and child identification programs also have been part of Sheriff Thomas' administration. Each year the Sheriff's Office goes to all the schools and provides a child identification kit to each kindergarten and day care student where they actually fingerprint each young person. This program has been ongoing for 21 years and over 10,000 children have been fingerprinted. Sheriff Thomas has worked tirelessly to continue to upgrade the Sheriff's Department with the most current equipment. He also has increased manpower, added 24-hour patrol and has deputies around the schools. The department also provides a church and business watch. Salaries have increased as well as continued training and education. The agency receives extensive training each year. Sheriff Thomas has established Project Lifesaver and The Yellow Dot Program for seniors, 12 neighborhood watches throughout the county as well as a Chaplain Program with 15 local Chaplains appointed by the Sheriff that provide devotional each Tuesday morning for the department and support within the community when the need arises at critical times.
Sheriff Thomas' desire for the future of the Sheriff's Office is to continue to provide the best possible law enforcement for all the citizens of Pike County. He Believes In Working Together To Keep Our County Safe and Drug-Free and his door is always open.