About Police Counseling Services

My name is Dr. David Thomas everyone calls me Doc. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.  My focus is providing counseling services for the pubic safety community, specializing in law enforcement and military/veterans.

I maintain a private practice in Gainesville, FL. Prior to becoming a therapist, I was a police officer for 20 years working in every facet of the profession, spending most of my tenure on the street. After completing my training as a therapist, I spent the last ten years in the classroom teaching and training students in criminal justice and psychology to become future clinicians. Today, I am a full-time professor and I am a contracted mental health provider for the Alachua Police Department in Alachua, FL. I provide a complete series of services which include: evaluation and testing for new police candidates, therapy services, counseling officers as well as their families, critical incident stress management/debriefing and crisis intervention and training.  

I am an interactive, cognitive behavior therapist. My approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life's challenges. I integrate complimentary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. My goal is to assist you in finding a balance and get you back to being you. 


  • 2001 - Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology from the Union Institute
  • 1998 - Masters of Education, Curriculum & Instruction, National Louis University
  • 1980 - Bachelor of Arts, Clinical Psychology, Mercy College of Detroit


  • 2012 – License Mental Health Counselor; State of Florida, Division of Medical Quality Assurance, License Number: LMHC 1114
  • 1991 Certified Law Enforcement Officer, Florida Criminal Justice Training Commission
  • 1978 – Certified Law Enforcement Officer, Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Training Council 


  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy,
  • CISM (Individual, Group, WMD),
  • Hostage Negotiation
  • Certified Use of Force Expert: Pinellas County, FL .18th Judicial Circuit


  • Series Editor, (December, 2009)Series entitled: Forensic Psychology, ABC-CLIO/Praeger Publishing
  • Police Service Award, Gainesville Police Department, 1995
  • Medal of Distinction, Gainesville Police Department, 1995 
  • Award of Excellence, Gainesville Police Department, 1994
  • Employee of The Year, Gainesville Police Department, 1993
  • Chief’s Commendation, Gainesville Police Department, 1993 


  • February, 2012, Law Enforcement Officers: Perspectives on Race, Credibility, and Community. Paper presentation National Association of African American Studies, Baton Rouge, LA;
  • December, 2008, Community Psychology, Florida State University School of Social Work, Tallahassee, FL.;
  • September, 2005, Psychological Trauma and First Responders , American Criminal Justice Association, St. Petersburg, FL;
  • June, 2005, Psychology of Trauma, Institute of Excellence, St. Leo University; 
  • May, 2003, Profiling and the Serial Killer, SIGMA XI, State University of New York at Fredonia.
  • May, 2001, Diversity: Can it Effect the Hostage Negotiation Process, Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, Orlando, FL
  • July, 2000, Police Brutality and it’s Impact on the Officer, Florida Peace Officer’s Association, Gainesville, FL 
  • January, 1988, Medical Implications of Police Defensive Tactics, Michigan Association of Chief’s of Police, Grand Rapids, MI
  • February, 1988, Less Than Lethal Force, Police Marksman Magazine Officer Survival Seminar, Grand Rapids, MI
  • June, 1987, Civil Liability and Use of Force Concerns for the Police Administrator, Michigan Association of Chief’s of Police, Traverse City, MI
  • January, 1987, New Concepts in Defensive Tactics, Police Marksman Magazine Officer Survival Seminar, Grand Rapids, MI


  • Thomas, D.J. (September, 2011). Implementing Fitness Standards for Police Recruits: A Case Study. Law Enforcement Executive Forum, Macomb, IL.
  • Thomas, D.J. (June 2011). The Psychological Aftermath of Critical Incidents. Law Enforcement Executive Forum, Macomb, IL. 
  • Thomas, D.J. (May, 2011). Police Psychology: A New Specialty and New Challenges for Men and Women in Blue (Textbook). ABC-CLIO/Praeger Publications
  • Thomas, D. J. (February, 2010).Professionalism in Policing: An Introduction,Textbook. Cengage Publishing. 
  • Thomas, D.J. (February, 2010). Professionalisim in Policing Instructor's Guide. Cengage Pubishing
  •  Thomas, D.J. (March, 2010). Facilitating Organizational Culture: New Chief  Old Value Systems. Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, San Antonio, TX
  •  Barringer, T.A. & Thomas, D. J. (March 2009). Answering the Call for More Minority Police Officers. Law Enforcement Executive Research Forum, Macomb, IL. 
  • Barringer, T.A. & Thomas, D.J. (June, 2007). Law Enforcement Officers: Their  Perception of Personal Safety and Job Performance. Law Enforcement Executive Forum, Macomb, IL. 
  • Thomas, D.J. & Barringer, T.A. (November, 2008). Developing Fitness Standards for Police Officers. The Public Safety Chronicle, St. Leo, FL.
  •  Thomas, D. J. (December, 2008).  Culture and The Hostage Negotiation Process. Law Enforcement Executive Research Forum, Macomb, IL 
  • Thomas, D.J. (December, 1988).  Reacting and Surviving. Police Magazine, Torrance, CA.\
  • Thomas, D.J. (January, 1986). Defensive Tactics Manual. Grant funded project through the Michigan Office of Criminal Justice, Lansing, MI.

Professional Activities and Memberships: 

  • American Counseling Association
  • American Criminal Justice Association
  • Society for Police and Criminal Psychology
  • National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice
  • Police Futurists Society