On May 22, 2019 President Trump presented Police Officer, and brother, Brent Alan Thompson the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor posthumously, the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer. “An attack on our police is an attack upon our entire nation,” Trump said.
Brother Thompson was a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officer on live duty July 7, 2016 in downtown Dallas, Texas where he was monitoring a peaceful demonstration. Suddenly, shots rang out and Brent was ambushed and killed by a sniper just two weeks before his 44th birthday. He took a position behind a pillar outside El Centro College after the shots. The gunman snuck up on Thompson and fatally shot him from behind.
He was the very first DART police officer to be killed in the line of duty.
Brother Thompson was just two weeks into a new marriage with fellow DART police officer Emily.
Brother Thompson was a former Marine and Police Trainer. The Website Heavy tells us about some of his accomplishments:
He was an international police trainer who mentored Iraqi and Afghan police in the concepts of “democratic policing,” training Afghan officers how to avoid an ambush, according to a 2006 New York Times article quoting him and his own LinkedIn page. He’d also previously trained American police officers in active shooters.
Thompson Taught Afghan Police Officers How to Survive an ‘Ambush’ & Also Mentored Iraqi Police in ‘Democratic Policing.’
Thompson was chief of operations for Southern Iraq for DynCorp International, a private military contractor. “I was responsible for the day to day operations conducted by our American police officers who trained and mentored the Iraqi Police,” he wrote.
“My area of responsibility was the Special Programs Units (Baghdad, Iraq), Training Teams located at the US Embassy (South), Camp Echo, Camp Delta, Basrah, and Babel. These teams covered Iraq from Baghdad to the southern border with Kuwait. I also worked in Northern Iraq: Mosul, Haman Al Lil, Duhook, Talifar.”
He also served in Afghanistan. “I also was in Afghanistan (Helmand and Khandahar Provinces); I was a Team Leader there and Lead Mentor to the Southern Provincial Police Chief. In all locations we mentored and taught our Iraqi/Afghan counterparts democratic policing, and assisted in the establishment of the police departments in those location.”
Thompson Taught Specialized Police Training Courses in How to Handle an Active Shooter
He wrote, “I patrol the Northwest sector for the DART systems. This area includes Lewisville, Texas; Carrollton, Texas; Farmers Branch, Texas; Irving, Texas; and Dallas, Texas.”
Thompson Wrote That He Was Motivated by a ‘Team Atmosphere’ & Finding Ways to Serve
On his LinkedIn page, Thompson wrote, “I am motivated by a ‘Team’ atmosphere. I enjoy working on challenging tasks and problem solving with my peers. I am constantly looking for different ways to serve the department, this helps to keep my work from becoming sedentary and boring.”
His funeral was held at The Potter’s House, a church that held 17,000 worshippers. Thousands off police officers from all over the nation attended in their dress blues.
His Pastor described him as a man who instinctively liked and was liked by nearly all who met him.
Emily Thompson told the congregation: “Tuesday, June 21, 2016 was one of the happiest days of my life. I married the most amazing, caring, loving, selfless man I’ve ever known. Brent showed me that even though I would doubt myself from time to time, I’m strong and can do anything. Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 8:58 p.m., that was all ripped from me in an act of senseless violence.”
Brent Alan Thompson was a Master Mason at Corsicana Lodge No 174, the Grand Lodge of Texas AF & AM. He was also a former member of the Black Gold Chapter of DeMolay, Corsicana, Texas. The officers of The Grand Lodge of Texas performed his graveside ceremony.
As a DART employee myself, in customer service, I had the honor of meeting and talking to Brother Brent in person on several occasions. It was only weeks before his death in a conversation we had that I leaned that he was a Freemason.
Sandra Hughes, a retired teacher who knew Thompson, told The Washington Post: When he became a grandfather, he “just lived for those little kids.”
“…He was in every way, every way, that you would want your son, and that you would want someone that you knew, to be like. You’d want him to be like Brent. Because Brent, he was just that special,” Hughes said, according to the Post. She described him as calm, never agitated, and “down-to-earth,” the Post said.
And that is exactly the characteristics you will find in most Freemasons. We are a quiet, nonviolent, honest, patriotic lot. We are gentle, nonjudgmental men who build bridges across our communities and preach the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God.
That is the way I remember Brother Brent Thompson. He was an inspiration to everybody he touched.
And he is sorely missed by many.