Getting to know new OUPD Lieutenant Nicole Thompson


Nicole Thompson, administrative lieutenant, is now in charge of OUPD social media.

By Sean Miller

Usually in a workforce when someone moves up the ladder they leave their position vacant. When Mark Gordon was appointed the new chief of police at the Oakland University Police Department (OUPD) earlier this year, he made sure this didn’t happen. Gordon extinguished his old position as captain, and created a new lieutenant position for the OUPD.

After conducting a long search and interview process, former OUPD officer Nicole Thompson was appointed as OUPD’s new lieutenant. Since her promotion, she has gained more responsibility in supervising the operations of sergeants and officers.

Thompson has been familiar with law enforcement since birth. She could never picture herself doing anything other than being a police officer.

Her father was a police officer. She grew up admiring him and his work and always aspired to become a police officer. After she graduated high school, Thompson attended Michigan State University and received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She then went to Ferris State University for police training shortly after.

After her training, Thompson found herself at the OUPD, and has worked there for the past nine years. During her time at Oakland she received a master’s degree in public administration.

Being in a university setting instead of a city police force has its differences, but it isn’t always just dealing with students’ bad behavior, according to Thompson. Every once in a while the OUPD has to deal with some serious cases.

“One of my most memorable arrests happened at the main entrance circle drive,” Thompson said. “There was a car driving the wrong way so I pulled them over to see what was going on.

“It turned out the driver didn’t have a license and the passengers were wanted for various crimes as well. The car contained an unregistered gun and drug paraphernalia. All three people in the car were arrested on the scene.”

Every year Oakland University gets a new population of students. This brings new challenges to the OUPD that municipal police stations may not deal with. Their communities undergo less change than a University setting, in which they change every year.

“I enjoy getting new students on campus,” Thompson said. I like not having a set routine in my job and not knowing what tomorrow will bring me.” 

Thompson is the first and youngest female to become a lieutenant for the Oakland University Police Department. She strives to make the campus a safe community for students and visitors alike.

“It was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up,” she said.