Captain Valencia Thomas was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, graduating from Crenshaw High School.
Captain Thomas received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral Science from National University and a Master of Public Administration degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. As part of receiving her degree, Captain Thomas completed a Master’s Thesis in “The Study of Women in Management Positions within Law Enforcement” wherein she researched and conducted a comparison study of female captains and above within the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
In 1995, Captain Thomas joined the Los Angeles Police Department and upon graduating from the Police Academy she was assigned to Van Nuys Division. Her other assignments as a police officer included Wilshire Division as a Prostitution Enforcement Detail Officer, Employee Opportunity and Development Division as a Recruiter and Internal Affairs Group assigned to the Advocate Section.
In 2001, she promoted to the rank of Sergeant and was assigned to Newton Division as a Patrol supervisor.
In 2002, she was upgraded to Sergeant II where her assignments included Vice supervisor, Internal Affairs Investigator, and Aide to the Inspector General. As the Aide, it was Captain Thomas’ responsibility to brief the Inspector General on critical training issues, risk management concerns, deficiencies, and all other relevant issues when reviewing such correspondences as Personnel Complaint Investigations, Consent Decree Paragraph Items, Categorical Uses of Force, and all other documents submitted through the office.
Captain Thomas promoted to Lieutenant in 2008. She was assigned as a Watch Commander at Foothill and Van Nuys Divisions. In 2012, Captain Thomas was upgraded to Lieutenant II as the Officer in Charge of Community Relations Section where she was responsible for enhancing city wide community engagement efforts and routinely made presentations to key community groups, commanding officers and city officials regarding significant community issues facing the Department.
In October 2014, she was promoted to the rank of Captain I as the Commanding Officer of Wilshire Patrol Division where she was responsible for leading the men and women of the Patrol Division.
In August 2015, Captain Thomas was selected to serve as the Acting Commanding Officer of West Traffic Division (WTD). In January 2016, she was upgraded to Captain II and appointed as the Commanding Officer of WTD. In October 2017, she was upgraded to Captain III and appointed as the Commanding Officer of West Los Angeles Division.