The man who has sworn-in more than half of the current Danville Police officers is planning to retire. Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason is planning to retire this spring. Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. says he accepted Thomason’s intent-to-retire notice on Friday, effective March 29th, 2019.
In the position of Public Safety Director Thomason oversees both the Danville Police and Fire Departments. Before being appointed to the position he had retired from the Danville Police Department in 2004 following 33 years of service.
Mayor Williams has said that he would like to go back to having both a police and fire chief, instead of a Public Safety Director. It will be up to the full Danville City Council to decide whether the switch occurs.
Thomason started on the Danville Police force as a cadet in 1970 and became an officer the following year. He became Danville’s Public Safety Director in June of 2007. ”It’s time to move aside,” said Thomason in an interview with VermilionCountyFirst.com News. ”I’m not leaving the community and have no plans to take another job,” added Thomason.
Instead, Thomason says he wants to spend more time with his family. He says that he and his wife have been discussing his retirement for a couple of years. ”Whatever the good Lord gives me on this earth, I want to spend more time with my three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild said Thomason.
He adds it has ”been an honor and a privilege to be the Director (of Public Safety) for almost twelve years. And there are a lot of people I want to thank for their support.”
It was Thomason who started the Crime Stoppers program in Vermilion County back in the 1970s. He used $500 from the City and another $500 from Vermilion County as ‘seed money’ to get it going. ”Since then hundreds of thousands of dollars have been recovered through the program along with quite a few arrests,” said Thomason.
Thomason also told VermilionCountyFirst.com News that he is ”o-k with having both a police and a fire chief. He admits that he has spent more hours with the police force, but says he has also ”worked well with Danville firefighters.” And Thomason says the decision to leave the position in March was strictly his decision.