Lonaconing native Thomas receives state appointment

For the Potomac Valley Herald

Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Stephen T. Moyer has appointed government communications veteran Robert B. Thomas Jr. as director of communications.

The Lonaconing native’s focus is to expand the department’s social media presence, as well as train staff in emergency response, crisis and risk communications, and providing transparency to one of the state’s largest departments.

Robert B. Thomas Jr.

Robert B. Thomas Jr.

“Secretary Moyer has an aggressive plan to reform the department,” Thomas said. “Communications is an important part of the secretary’s plans.”

Thomas graduated in 1972 from Allegany Community College in Cumberland with an associates degree in general studies.

The University of Maryland government and politics graduate began his career in 1975 as a police officer in College Park.  In November 1978 Thomas was appointed as a deputy state fire marshal with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, an agency of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Thomas rose through the ranks of the Office of the State Fire Marshal and retired in January 2006 at the rank of chief deputy.  During his career he worked as director of public affairs for the State Fire Marshal from 1983 through 1996 and  as well as serving as one of the spokespersons for the Department of Public Safety during that same period.

Upon retiring from state service in January 2006, Thomas worked for Harford County Sheriff R. Thomas Golding as director of media relations and public affairs before becoming communications manager and spokesman for Harford County Executive David R. Craig in 2007. In 2013, Thomas became manager of public affairs and community outreach for the Harford County Department of Emergency Services.

Thomas and Moyer’s relationship dates back more than 25 years when Secretary Moyer was a Maryland State Trooper and both worked in the Department of Public Safety.

“I appreciate the opportunity to be part of Secretary Moyer’s management team,” Thomas said.

“Secretary Moyer is undoubtedly an outstanding leader and is working tirelessly to restructure and effect meaningful change for the Department of Public Safety,” Thomas said.

Mark Vernarelli former Executive Director of Communications for the Department of Public Safety now serves as the Director of Community Engagement and spokesman for the Division of Parole and Probation and the Maryland Parole Commission.

Filed in: Georges Creek, Latest Headlines, News, Public safety

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