Police Chief's Bio

Police Chief

Eve M. Thomas
(865) 215-7000

800 Howard Baker Jr. Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37915

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Chief Eve ThomasChief Eve Thomas began her police career with the Knoxville Police Department in January of 1993 following a career in the retail industry.

Thomas served in several capacities before being promoted to Sergeant in November of 1998, including as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Breath Alcohol Test Operator, Recruitment Coordinator, Traffic Accident Reconstructionist, Problem Solving Instructor, Police Driving Instructor, Assistant Public Information Officer and Adjunct Faculty at Walters State Community College as a Domestic Violence/Terrorism Instructor. She also worked in the Department’s Accreditation Unit.

Upon promotion to Sergeant with the Department, she served in several additional capacities to include Patrol Sergeant, Personnel Sergeant, and Accreditation Manager. During this time, she also attended a “Train the Trainer” course on Community Oriented Policing put on by SCOPE (Southeastern Community Oriented Policing Education Institute) and served as an instructor for that entity in Conflict Resolution and Mediation as well.

She was also certified as a CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) Assessor and attended the inaugural class of the Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy (SECLA).

In November of 2005, she was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned as the Special Operations Supervisor, where she was administratively responsible for the Department’s specialty units, including the Crisis Negotiation Unit, Special Operations Squad, K9 Unit, Inspections Detail, Search and Recovery Team, Mobile Field Force, Teleserve Unit, Animal Control Officers, and other specialty units that worked within the Patrol Division.

Later in her tenure as a Lieutenant, she served as Traffic Services Supervisor, Patrol Lieutenant, and Central Business District Supervisor. She attended TLEEDS and the FBI National Academy during this time as well. 

Upon attaining the rank of Captain in November of 2011, she served as a supervisor within the Department’s Support Services Division, where she was responsible for the Training Section, Safety Education Unit, SROs and Property Detail.

On January 1, 2013, she was assigned to the Patrol Division as the East District Commander, and has since received further training in Boston at the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), an Executive Leadership Survival course put on by LEEDA, and attended the IACP Women’s Leadership as well as other leadership and tactical training.

On April 1, 2015, she assumed an assignment as the Department’s Internal Affairs Unit Commander and on February 9, 2017 was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division, where she oversaw the Violent Crimes, Property Crimes and Special Crimes Units. On February 4, 2018, she was promoted to Deputy Chief and assumed the role as Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division.

During Thomas’ tenure as the Chief of Police, the KPD has hired a recruitment marketing firm and restructured its recruitment efforts, deployed body-worn cameras for the first time in the Department’s history, and launched the co-responder program, a first among Tennessee law enforcement agencies. 

Additionally, Chief Thomas has expanded the resources available for KPD officers and professional staff with the implementation of an employee wellness program. 

Chief Thomas has a Master’s Degree from Long Island University’s Homeland Security Master’s Institute and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She has instructed and developed lesson plans for courses in Community and Problem Oriented Policing, Accreditation, Officer Safety for Women and Traffic Accident Investigations as well as serving as a Police Driving Instructor when needed.

She previously served the community as a Salvation Army Board Member and as a Chair of the Knox County Community Health Council. She is a member of Leadership Knoxville 2013 (BCE) and the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, the IACP, PERF, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) and works with the Tennessee Women in Criminal Justice Steering Committee.

She has been married to her husband, Karl, for over 30 years and has two sons.