OUPD Lieutenant Thompson named to Oakland County’s Elite 40 under 40

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OUPD Lieutenant Thompson named to Oakland County’s Elite 40 under 40

OUPD Lieutenant Nicole Thompson is the department’s first female and youngest commanding officer.

OUPD Lieutenant Nicole Thompson is the department’s first female and youngest commanding officer.

Nicole Morsfield

OUPD Lieutenant Nicole Thompson is the department’s first female and youngest commanding officer.

Nicole Morsfield

Nicole Morsfield

OUPD Lieutenant Nicole Thompson is the department’s first female and youngest commanding officer.

Dean Vaglia, Staff Reporter

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A trailblazing Oakland University Police Department (OUPD) officer has been recognized as one of Oakland County’s elite young professionals.

OUPD Lieutenant Nicole Thompson, the department’s first female and youngest commanding officer, was named one of Oakland County Executive David Coulter’s Elite 40 under 40 class of 2020.

“It is an honor just to be selected,” Thompson said. “As I was looking through the list of the top 40 under 40, these are some amazing leaders in their organizations and their community, so to even be associated with them is just quite the honor. Once I found out, I was super proud and excited to go home and tell my two young daughters, ‘Mommy got an award.’” 

Nominated by Holly Demchak, assistant to the chief of police, Thompson was one of about 250 applicants. After three rounds of review, she was selected as one of the final 40 and invited to the County Executive’s State of the County address Wednesday, Feb. 12 in Pontiac.

Thompson’s calling to police service might seem obvious to those who know her. Almost everyone in her family is on one police force or another.

“My dad is the chief of police at an agency in Macomb County, my husband is a police officer, my brother and my sister-in-law are police officers in Florida, my two other brothers-in-law … one is in Livingston County, the other is a Michigan State Police trooper,” Thompson said. “You know that ‘Blue Bloods’ show? It is like we are in an episode of that.”

Growing up with her father as a police officer, Thompson was able to see the ins and outs of police life. This led her down the path of earning a criminal justice degree from Michigan State University in 2004 and completing a police academy at Ferris State later that October. 

“Right after the police academy, I started applying for jobs, and I actually interviewed with the OUPD and the Utica Police Department,” Thompson said. “The previous [OUPD] chief, Chief [Samuel] Lucido, offered me the job, and ever since 2005, I have been here.”

Thompson started her OUPD career as a road officer, directly carrying out law enforcement tasks. During this time, she helped train other OUPD officers, worked as an evidence technician and engaged with whatever tasks she could. One notable arrest from this time saw a wrong way traffic stop turn into three arrests and a haul of firearms and drug paraphernalia. 

Since becoming one of OUPD’s leading officers, Thompson spends less time behind the wheel of a cruiser and more time behind the scenes of the department’s operations. Thompson is in charge of the OUPD’s dispatching, training, screening new officer applicants to make sure they are up to Michigan standards, maintaining the department’s vehicle fleet, making sure the department is compliant with the Clery Act, and handling OUPD relations with OU faculty, staff and offices, such as the dean of students and its Grizzlies CARE Team.

“Right now, I find fulfillment engaging with all those other areas on campus,” Thompson said. “Some of my favorite areas [to work with] are [the] Lowry [Center] and OUCARES.”

Community involvement is one of Thompson’s favorite parts about being a lieutenant. Aside from getting to work with the myriad other departments and organizations at OU, she also manages programs like “Toys for Tickets” in the winter and donating toiletries to veterans.

“I love interacting with some of the most amazing people here at OU,” Thompson said.