Dr. Paul D. Thompson was elected president of the Texas Police Association (TPA) at its annual convention in Denton last week. Dr. Thompson will serve a 2018-19 year term as president and is chief of West Rusk ISD in New London.
The TPA is a 123-year-old organization dedicated to the support and professional development of all state law enforcement officers. It is allied with local communities and area businesses.
“TPA is not a police union, collective bargaining group, or a political lobbying organization,” Dr. Thompson stated.
“It is to make Texas communities safer and more economically viable by addressing police legitimacy through professional police training and education. TPA serves members of any rank and from every type of law enforcement agency.”
Thompson added that TPA’s ranks include Texas Department of Public Safety; other state police; Sheriff’s offices; constables; and municipal, university, ISD police departments and federal agencies. He put the total membership at “Nearly 4,000.”
In addition, TPA creates partnerships with businesses “Who understand the economic impact of good police service and citizens who are concerned about the quality of life matters in their communities. Education and training are provided to business and community organizations.”
Training includes showing business executives and citizens how to protect themselves, their families and businesses from crime and what to do and not to do if they encounter a criminal act.
“This will help lower crime rates and a lower crime rate will increase the economic impact in communities,” Thompson pointed out. “As president, I’ll work with our executive committees out of Austin to make sure we’re implementing these plans.”
Texas is divided into six TPA regions, with Rusk County being in Region One. The same region stretches from Panola County to the Texarkana state line and across to Dallas.
One of Thompson’s duties is holding quarterly meetings and filing reports. On Sep. 11, TPA will host a counter-terrorism conference to be in Austin and open to the public. Also planned are special service classes focusing on protection-in-hiring methods of civil servants, police officers and salaried fire fighters.
Also to be repeated is the Officer’s De-Escalation program “For officers to prevent or calm situations down in traffic stops and home and office disturbances.
“And citizens are welcomed to our Public Information Act forum - to explain how the act is applied and implemented by the government.”
Two TPA Leadership Conferences are held every year and the next gathering is set in Bandera, Texas, also in September.
The president is responsible for arranging the annual TPA conventions and already the June 2019 event is on Dr. Thompson’s mind.
“I’m interested in bringing it to East Texas, particularly Longview. This would be an economic plus for our region.”
Dr. Thompson began law enforcement career in 1991 with Rusk County Sheriff’s Office and served as a patrol supervisor with Gregg County Sheriff’s Office as well as the police chief of Easton and New London before spending the last five years as West Rusk ISD police chief. He has a doctorate in management from Colorado Technical University. The president is married to the former Trisha Trammell (“Whose father and grandfather were police officers.”) Thompson has three children and three grandchildren.