Writer / Matt Keating
Jason Thompson was recently appointed as deputy of the support division in the Noblesville Police Department, and he is excited about his appointment.
“Chief John Mann and Assistant Chief Brad Arnold conducted interviews for any sergeant or lieutenant that was interested in becoming the deputy chief of support at the department,” Thompson says. “After a number of interviews, Chief Mann chose me to take over the position.”
The previous officer in the deputy chief position, Shane Ginnan, left to become chief in Yorktown.
“My responsibilities will be to help grow an already great division that is comprised of veteran officers that are extremely capable in their assigned areas,” Thompson says.
Specifically, Thompson supervises the school resource officers (SROs), community outreach officer, drone program, NobleAct officers, administrative assistants, traffic unit, chaplains program, officer wellness program, and fleet management program.
“Basically, anything that is not specifically assigned to patrol, investigations or professional standards division,” Thompson says. “The challenge of making sure that a variety of different programs are successful is one of the reasons I wanted the position.”
The support division assists the other divisions in accomplishing their goals by providing them with resources or furthering their efforts, according to Thompson.
“The obvious example is that the support division is responsible for fleet management, which is simply providing officers with police vehicles and all of the equipment that is necessary for their jobs,” Thompson says.
Thompson notes that the professional administrative assistants are also an important part of the division.
“They accomplish numerous clerical duties and interactions with citizens who come to the department,” Thompson says. “The school resource officers also serve as a support function by deploying to the schools, so that the road officers can focus fully on the city knowing the SROs are protecting the schools and building positive relationships with students.”
SROs similarly work with detectives in regards to juvenile and child abuse cases. The traffic unit is able to spend time on specific traffic complaints or crash-prone intersections that patrol officers may not have the time or manpower to monitor, according to Thompson.
“The traffic unit also works closely with the Noblesville schools to help limit bus stop-arm violations,” he says. “The drone program falls under support and can assist patrol and investigations with searching for suspects and missing individuals, or investigating crashes.”
Thompson notes that NobleAct is also an important part of the support division, and says Officer Ben Lugar does an excellent job of helping to patrol.
“Road officers deal with individuals in mental crisis on a daily basis,” Thompson says. “Officer Lugar can respond to the scene to relieve patrol officers, or more often he conducts in-depth follow-ups with individuals to make sure they are linked up with appropriate services and less likely to call police again.”
Thompson has worked at the Noblesville Police Department for more than 17 years.
“After graduating from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, I worked in patrol for a couple of years before becoming a field training officer,” Thompson says. “I also worked as a D.A.R.E. Instructor, and a standardized field sobriety test instructor. I have been part of the boat patrol and bike patrol. I then became a sergeant on night shift and a field training officer supervisor.”
Thompson was later selected to the emergency services unit and has been with the team for about seven years.
“Next I became a lieutenant and commanded a night shift for about five years,” he says. “I later transferred to the criminal investigations division for a short time before my appointment as deputy chief of support.”
Thompson says the department has had numerous positive changes through the last two years, with several big changes occurring within the support division.
“The NobleAct program, which began as an idea from Mayor Jensen, has blossomed into one of the leading programs in the state,” he says. “It allows the Noblesville Police Department to respond to individuals in mental health crisis with a coordinated response from police, fire, and mental health professionals. The response is not limited to the initial call, but also includes follow-up to citizens even after their crisis and pairs them with resources that are long-lasting.”
The officer wellness program is also a new development since Mann arrived, and Thompson says it is vital to helping officers physically, mentally and emotionally.
“The program helps officers physically with workout plans, nutrition plans and medical evaluations,” Thompson says. “The mental and emotional health of officers are aided with critical incident debriefs, peer support, mentors, a chaplaincy program, and a therapist that specializes in helping police officers with various issues.”
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