Elizabeth Burson-Thomas


Elizabeth Burson-Thomas

Elizabeth Burson-Thomas


Elizabeth Burson-Thomas started her career in Law Enforcement at the Santa Cruz Police Department, where she was a sworn Peace Officer from 2014 to 2023. While with the Santa Cruz Police Department Elizabeth served as a Patrol Officer, a Detective, a Digital Forensic Examiner, a member of the Honor Guard, a Hostage Negotiator, a member of the Recruitment Team, a Terrorism Liaison Officer, an instructor for electroshock weapon systems, a Field Training Officer for Community Service Officers, a Peer Team member, a Director for the Santa Cruz Police Officer’s Association, and a co-founder of the Santa Cruz Police Department’s Threat Assessment Team. She co-presented the SCPD’s Threat Assessment model at the 2019 Problem Oriented Policing Conference, was a participant in the Youth Violence Prevention Networks Dialogues for Change program in 2019, and a panelist at the Jon E. Nadherny Memorial Youth Symposium in 2022.

Elizabeth left the Santa Cruz Police Department to join the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, where she was an Inspector and court appointed expert in Digital Forensics and Call Detail Record Analysis, before retiring from Law Enforcement in July of 2023 to spend more time with family.


Elizabeth graduated from City College of San Francisco in 2011 with an associate of arts degree in Arts & Humanities and an associate of science degree in Social and Behavioral Science. She received a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2013. Elizabeth obtained a certificate in Criminal Justice from the South Bay Regional Public Safety and Training Consortium located at Monterey Peninsula College, and subsequently obtained her CA POST Basic Officer Certificate, CA POST Intermediate Certificate, and CA POST Advanced Certificate.


Elizabeth was awarded with a Distinguished Service Key by Alpha Phi Omega’s Alpha Gamma Nu chapter in 2016.