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Final Patrol: Senior Investigator Lee O. Thomas, CD Chapter

Updated: May 8, 2021

Thomas, Lee Ostrom GUILDERLAND Lee Ostrom Thomas passed away on March 26, 2021, at Albany Medical Center. He was born in Warwick, N.Y. on January 11, 1934, the son of the late Earl H. and Lois Ostrom Thomas. He had been a resident of Guilderland since 1968. He attended the Brooklyn public schools from 1940 through graduation from Erasmus Hall High School in January of 1952. He attended Pace College as a part time student from 1955 until his induction in the U.S. Army in 1957. Subsequently, he attended Russell Sage College, receiving his B.A. in 1974. Lee received an appointment to the New York State Troopers in January of 1957, which was subsequently deferred until completion current of military service. During his military service he served on several marksmanship teams, and was assigned to various military marksmanship training schools. Upon discharge from the U.S. Army, he was appointed as a trooper in the Division of State Police in April of 1959. Upon entry into the Division, he was assigned to Troop A in Batavia, N.Y. He served in several stations until assigned to attend State Police Training School in January of 1960. Upon graduation from State Police School in March, Lee was assigned to Troop K, Hawthorne and served in SP Millbrook, SP Middletown and SP Hawthorne. Due to his qualifications and previous military experience, he was assigned to attend the FBI Firearms Instructors School at Camp Smith in 1961 and upon completion was assigned as senior firearms instructor of Troop K. In 1962, Trooper Thomas was assigned to the Training Section at Division Headquarters in Albany, as assistant to the Division Firearms Training Officer. On April 20, 1964, Trooper Thomas was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to Troop K Monroe. After completion of his probationary period, he was re-assigned to the Training Section at Division Headquarters as division firearms training officer. At this point he was captain of the Division Pistol Team, of which he had been a member since 1962. In 1966, upon his request Sergeant Thomas retired from active competitive shooting and was appointed a technical sergeant in the Training Section as the Administrative NCO. During this period he was actively involved with the development, design and construction of the new State Police Academy. Upon completion and opening of the academy Tech. Sgt. Thomas was reassigned to the Pistol Permit Bureau in Division Headquarters and was appointed a senior investigator in the B.C.I. He continued in this assignment until 1979, during which time he was awarded the prestigious "Charles Evans Hughes Award," and became a "Fellow of the State Academy For Public Administration." This award was given based upon his reorganization and modernization of the Pistol Permit Bureau. In 1979, he was appointed technical lieutenant and assumed command of the "Central Records Bureau," which is the repository for all State Police records, including the Pistol Permit Section. Lieutenant Thomas retired in 1991 at the mandatory retirement age of 57 after 32 years of service. He was the impetus behind and co-author of "Gun Control in New York," a legal manual which attempts to explain the complexity of laws involving firearms and other weapons in this state, which is still in publication. He was a life member of the National Rifle Association, a member and a past director of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, a member of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association and a member of the Capital District Former Troopers Association. He is survived by his brother, Robert H. Thomas of Pomano Beach, Fla.; his adopted son, Robert J. Talarico of Miami, Fla.; and his close companion in retirement years, Jeffrey R. Cooke of Guilderland. All services will be private at the convenience of the family. To leave a special message for the family, please visit

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