Patrolman Neil G. Thompson
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 Justice.
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!
Neil was 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.
Neil wore badge number "28" . After his death the LaPorte County Police Department retired his number and no other officer will ever wear it again.
The Neil G. Thompson Memorial Scholarship Award