Board Profile in Recognition of Black History Month and Women's History Month
Captain Sherie Thomas
Omaha Police Captain Sherie Thomas joined the Youth Emergency Services (YES) board of directors in January 2020 -- just before the onset of the pandemic.
She joined the board because of the impactful work YES does for youth experiencing homelessness in the community -- and she's enjoyed every minute of her experience.
In recognition of Black History Month (February) and Women's History Month (March), YES interviewed Captain Thomas to get her perspective about being on the board, being an African-American woman and being a police captain.
What does it mean to you to be a woman and an African-American woman on a nonprofit board?
Representation matters, and boards should be reflective of the community it serves. Diversity is important, not only race and gender, but diversity of thought which makes for a well-rounded board.
Kellie Harry is board president now. What does it mean to you to have a woman in this important role?
Women deserve to hold positions of power and influence. I’m sure Kellie will do a great job just as previous board presidents have.
What have you enjoyed most about being on the YES board?
Learning and working with the other board members.
Where have you seen the greatest change/impact thus far?
Being able to continue to serve youth during a difficult time with the ongoing pandemic and navigating the unknowns.
February was Black History Month. What does this month represent/mean to you?
It is important to acknowledge the impact African Americans have had throughout history. Black History is American history, you can not have one without the other. Although February is set aside to acknowledge Black History, it should be acknowledged throughout the year.
I remember as a child the feeling of pride I had when I learned about Black women leaders such as Rosa Parks and her impact during the Civil Rights Movement.
Tell us a little bit about your family. Hobbies? Interests?
I enjoy traveling. My weekends are filled with my teenage daughters' sport activities -- one loves basketball and the other loves volleyball. I am married to Barry Thomas and we have three daughters.
What led you into police work?
I wanted to serve my community and make a difference in the lives of others. I’ve been with OPD for 23 years. I started my career on October 5, 1998. I was promoted to captain in March 2021. Recently I was appointed as acting deputy chief of the Executive Services Bureau.
What do you enjoy most about your work as a police officer?
Building long-lasting relationships, engaging with the community and having an impact in law enforcement. I also enjoy being a role model for young girls and helping them achieve their life’s goals and ambitions. I believe if they can see it, they will be encouraged to achieve it.