Recognizing distinguished alumni from Oceanside High School
Tom, born in Oceanside, attended South Oceanside Elementary School, Jefferson Junior High School and OHS. He swam on the varsity swim team under the guidance of Coach Bill Wagner. After school, he worked at Carpenter’s Auto Wrecking. There, he met several California Highway Patrolmen. It was at that point that he became interested in law enforcement. Tom attended MiraCosta College and received his Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. He joined the Oceanside Police Department’s Reserve Program where he served for two years. In April, 1973, after a request from a friend in Alaska, he moved to Wrangell, Alaska, to work in law enforcement. After the Wrangell Police Department hired him, they sent him to the Alaska State Trooper Academy in Sitka. In August, 1973, he married Susan and they returned to Wrangell. In August, 1975, Tom was hired by the Oceanside Police Department where he was employed for the next 30 years. During his employment, he represented OPD by swimming in the National and International Police Olympics, supervised the D.A.R.E. program for sixth graders, developed the Police Athletic League, and sponsored surf contests for middle school students. He managed the Hostage Negotiations Unit, Neighborhood Watch Program, and the Crime Prevention Unit. Tom was the department’s Public Information Officer and Chairman of the North San Diego County Trauma Intervention Program. He was a Sergeant from 1987 to 2005 when he retired. He taught at the San Diego Police Academy for the next 15 years. He continues to volunteer at OPD weekly. Tom and Susan’s two sons, UCR graduates, work at OPD. They enjoy time with their sons, daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.