Applications being accepted for Neil Thompson Memorial Scholarship

LaPorte County Sheriff’s Deputy Neil Thompson

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office is now seeking applications for the Neil Thompson Memorial Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is available to any senior scheduled to graduate this year from a high school in LaPorte County who has been accepted to a college or university and will be studying law enforcement, criminal justice or a criminal justice-related field.

Applicants are required to submit an essay, no fewer than 500 words, on why they will be pursuing a career in law enforcement.

The scholarship was established soon after the 1980 death of Patrolman Neil Thompson, the only deputy from the LaPorte County Sheriff ‘s Office to be killed in the line of duty. He was killed on Sept. 21, 1980, when a suspect fleeing from other officers in a stolen ambulance intentionally rammed his patrol vehicle. The driver was convicted of manslaughter. Deputy Thompson had served with the Sheriff’s Office for three years and was a United States Army veteran of the Vietnam War. In 2002, State Road 39 from US Highway 6 to US Highway 30 was dedicated as the Neil G. Thompson Memorial Highway. In 2015, the Sheriff’s Office opened the scholarship to include applicants from all LaPorte County high schools.

Scholarship applications may be picked up at the front desk of the Sheriff’s Office on the main floor of the LaPorte County Complex or from any of the Sheriff ‘s Office School Resource Officers.

The deadline for applications/essays is Friday, May 3, at 3 pm. The recipient will be selected by a panel that includes the School Resource Officers. The scholarship will be awarded at the Department’s annual Peace Officers Memorial in May.

Applications, essays and proof of college or university acceptances should be sent to: Captain Derek J. Allen, LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, 809 State St., LaPorte, IN 46350.

For more information, contact Captain Allen at or (219) 326-7700 ext. 2283.

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