21st Annual TOP COPS Awards, LAPD Officer Recognized for Bravery NR14149wr

April 15, 2014

Washington, D.C.; The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), President Thomas J. Nee and Executive Director William J. Johnson recently announced NAPO’s list of winners and honorable mentions for the 21st Annual TOP COPS Awards.

NAPO announced LAPD Officer Donald E. Thompson will receive the prestigious Honorable Mention Award.

On December 25, 2013, just before 2:00 p.m., Officer Don Thompson, a 26-year veteran with the Los Angeles Police Department was headed to work on the freeway when he saw a vehicle crash into the center divider. The collision was so violent that the vehicle immediately began to catch on fire. Officer Thompson stopped his truck and ran to the burning vehicle to render aid. The elderly driver of the vehicle was unconscious and trapped behind the wheel as the flames began to engulf the front compartment.

Without regard for his own safety, Officer Thompson forced the door open and tried to get to the driver to safety but his seatbelt was securely fastened. Realizing that his life and the victim’s life were at their crossroads, Officer Thompson fought through the intense heat and smoke to free the victim. Bearing the full weight of the unconscious driver, Thompson pulled him out of the car and saved his life.

Each year since 1994 NAPO has presented the TOP COPS Awards® Ceremony.   The purpose of the TOP COPS Awards® is to educate the American public about our nation’s heroes and to pay tribute to law enforcement officers in federal, state, county, and local agencies from across the country for actions above and beyond the call of duty during the preceding year. Our TOP COPS® are nominated by fellow officers.  An independent Awards Selection Committee comprised of national law enforcement representatives review hundreds of nominations, and select from each of the 50 States and U.S. territories.  Officers from the top ten cases are selected as the 2014 TOP COPS®.  In each remaining state, one case is selected for which the officer(s) will receive an Honorable Mention award.

“The TOP COPS Awards® provide an opportunity for all of us to recognize the brave men and women in America’s law enforcement community who selflessly put their lives on the line day in and day out” said Nee.  “Law enforcement officers care deeply about the citizens and communities they serve, and this honor is one way of letting them know their contributions are not taken for granted.”

The Twenty-First Annual TOP COPS Awards® Dinner will be held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington, D.C. at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 12, 2014.

Many celebrities from NBC’s hit programs Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, CBS’s Cold Case, NCIS and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation will serve as award presenters.  In past years, civic leaders including the President and Vice President as well as the Attorney General of the United States have helped honor these brave men and women by attending and speaking at the ceremony.

All proceeds from the TOP COPS Awards® benefit the Police Research and Education Project (PREP), NAPO’s 501(c) (3) sister organization which promotes the well-being of officers and their families and educates and informs the public about the role of law enforcement in a democratic society.

NAPO is a coalition of more than 1,000 police units and associations representing 241,000 rank and file law enforcement officers from across the United States.  For more than thirty years, NAPO has been instrumental in the passage of many important laws protecting citizens and police officers.

NOTE TO MEDIA: TOP COPS® and Honorable Mentions will be available for print and broadcast interviews prior to the Awards Dinner on Monday, May 12, 2014.  Please contact Elizabeth Loranger at eloranger@napo.org or (703) 549-0775.