A one-time commander of the Brighton Post is retiring from the number two position with the Michigan State Police.
The MSP announced today the retirement of Deputy Director Lt. Col. W. Thomas Sands effective January 27th after 32 years of service. Sands joined the department in 1987 and was assigned as a trooper to the Grand Haven Post. During his career, he held several investigative positions, eventually coming to the Brighton Post as Commander in 2004. He left in 2008 when he was promoted to captain of the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. In that position he led the state response to numerous gubernatorial and presidential declared disasters, including the Wolverine Pipeline spill where over one million gallons of oil was released and flowed into the Kalamazoo River.
In 2013, Sands was promoted to lieutenant colonel and selected to lead the Field Services Bureau with responsibility for the department’s law enforcement operations statewide. In January 2019, he was selected to command the Field Support Bureau, which includes the Forensic Science Division, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, Office of Highway Safety Planning and 911 Administrative Section.
Sands holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, he and his wife Sally now reside in Portland. (JK)