tim thames

Tim began his distinguished 32-year law enforcement career with the Erlanger Police Department in 1986 as a recruit officer hired by (Ret.) Police Chief Ken Yaden. 

Tim served many roles in the police department throughout his career including firearms range instructor, armorer, and field training officer. He was instrumental in establishing a formal field training program in the police department. He also helped to ensure crucial training in firearms qualifications progressed into a more modern, scenario-based training. Well trained officers were important to Tim and the leadership he served among. During his career, Tim, his colleagues, and leadership shared the goal to make Erlanger Police one of the best trained law enforcement agencies in our state.

In 1993, Tim began his journey in formal leadership. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant under Chief Greg Sandel and served in this role for 8 years. The patrolmen who worked for Sergeant Thames had a great respect for him and his leadership. 

In 2001, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant, and he was responsible for the administrative functions of the police department. That same year, he attended and graduated from the 104th Administrative Officer’s Course at The Southern Police Institute (SPI) in Louisville, Kentucky. SPI is a prestigious, nationally recognized, intensive 12-week leadership academy. 

In 2002, Thames achieve the rank of Captain under Police Chief Marc Fields. As Captain, Tim was responsible for many functions of the police department. Tim managed the department fleet and equipment, and was responsible for all internal affairs investigations. Tim also handled any large or major events for the police department. He was instrumental in developing and implementing the evaluation system for police department employees. 

He retired from the Erlanger Police Department in February of 2010, after a dedicated and respected 24 years with Erlanger. He left a legacy of mentorship, loyalty, and a true passion for our organization and the career of public service. Most importantly, were the lifelong friendships he formed with the officers who were before him, began with him, and who followed him. Many of the Police Chiefs who have followed since his retirement have sought his advice, counsel, and continued friendship. 

His dedication to law enforcement did not end in February of 2010. Tim returned to the City of Erlanger for a short time as a School Resource Officer at Tichenor Middle School for a year before moving forward to share his wisdom with our neighboring sister city of Elsmere. 

In August of 2011, Tim Thames was hired by the City of Elsmere as Chief of Police. He was able to share his knowledge, experience, and mentoring with the City of Elsmere for 7 additional years, retiring from law enforcement from Elsmere in July, 2018. The Northern Kentucky communities are definitely better for having benefited from his years of service and loyalty. 

Tim enjoys retirement spending time on his farm and with his family. Tim’s wife, Denise, and daughter, Amanda, have supported him throughout his career. He is also a very proud grandfather of grandson, Kai.

Bio provided by Lieutenant Kimberly Klare of the Erlanger Police Department