Building on a career of dedication and passion for animals, John Thompson is the Executive Director of the National Animal Care & Control Association where he continues to help law enforcement understand the linkages between animal abuse and human abuse, as well as enhancing the careers and profession of animal care professionals throughout the US.
Previously, as the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), John had responsibility for NSA’s programs and services, including his groundbreaking work of establishing the National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse, which was the first initiative to serve as a resource to bridge the gap between law enforcement and animal advocates. He also headed a movement that established the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals, an independent collective of local, state and national organizations that focus on animal cruelty and its relationship to other forms of violence.
Mr. Thompson also led the NSA’s petition to the FBI to include animal abuse crimes in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which was approved and signed by FBI Director Comey in September 2014. Currently, he is working with other organizations and partners to create a top-notch training program for law enforcement to address a growing problem with officer/dog encounters.
In 2004, he initiated and lead the development and implementation of NSA’s nationally recognized Homeland Security training programs in Community Preparedness, First Response to All Hazardous Events, and Jail Evacuation in Disasters among other widely used NSA training programs in disaster preparedness.
Mr. Thompson’s service in public safety began in 1970 when he became a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. In 1972, he joined the Federal Fire Service as a firefighter at the Quantico Marine Corps Base. Two years later, Mr. Thompson enlisted in the United States Army, serving as a military police officer, canine handler and military intelligence officer before being honorably discharged.
After his military service, he continued to work in law enforcement and in 1989 was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Mount Rainier, a diverse Maryland community bordering Washington, D.C. As Police Chief, Mr. Thompson reorganized the department and its priorities, placing an emphasis on community policing, training and implementing innovative crime reduction programs that won the department two “Award of Excellence” commendations from the Maryland Municipal League. In 1998, he was appointed Assistant Sheriff for Prince Georges County, Maryland, where he worked until 2002.
Over the years, Mr. Thompson has strived to broaden his expertise and reputation as a law enforcement and homeland security professional. In addition to his degree in criminal justice, he is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, as well as the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development School.