Patrolman Neil G.
August 4, 1950 - September 21, 1980
The youngest of four children, Neil
was born on August 4, 1950 in South Bend, Indiana to Lynn and
Louise Thompson. While growing up in Hudson Lake, Indiana, he
attended the local elementary school and graduated from New
Carlisle High School in 1968.
Neil enlisted in the United States
Army in 1968 and served three years of active duty, one of which
was spent in Vietnam.
He was promoted to the rank of
Sergeant and was repeatedly decorated with such awards as the
American Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals
with two Campaign Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, and the
Commendation Medal for Outstanding and Meritorious Conduct and
Service in the Combat Theatre. After his discharge from the U.S.
Army, he served three additional years as a Sergeant with the
Indiana National Guard.
In 1976 Neil graduated from Indiana
University in South Bend with a B.S. degree in Public and
Environmental Affairs and an Associate Degree in Criminal
Neil joined the LaPorte County Police
Department in 1977 as a Jail Officer. Later that year, he was
promoted to the position of Patrolman. Neil also served as the
Juvenile Officer for the New Carlisle Police Department for
several years. He graduated sixth in his class from the Indiana
Law Enforcement Academy.
Neil received several letters of
Commendation from the department. In 1980 the Michigan City
Exchange Club named Neil LaPorte County Officer of the Year.
Aside from police work, Neil also
enjoyed several outside activities including “HAM” radio,
flying, nutrition, bodybuilding and severe storms. Neil would
drive across the county to chase a tornado!
married to Lisa J. Moore on November 25, 1978.
On September 21, 1980, Neil was the
first LaPorte County Police Officer killed in the line of duty
in the Sheriff’s Departments 148 year history.
On a Sunday morning before noon, Neil
joined several Officers pursuing a stolen ambulance. Before the
driver could be stopped, he deliberately drove into the driver’s
side of Neil’s patrol car killing him instantly.
Neil was a quiet man who everyone
liked. But more importantly, Neil will be best remembered as a
loving husband, a devoted son and brother, a dedicated officer
and a good friend. We miss and think of him each day.
badge number "28" . After his death the LaPorte County Police
Department retired his number and no other officer will ever
wear it again.
Neil G. Thompson Memorial Scholarship Award