Valley City picks Nevada man as new police chief

Valley City has chosen Fred Thompson, a just-retired captain with the Henderson, Nev., police department as new police chief, administrator David Schelkoph announced Wednesday afternoon.

Thompson will begin his new position the first week of June.
Current acting police chief Mark McDonald, VCPD Sgt. Doug Kiefert, Fred Thompson, Patricia Nowak and Ryan Evans were finalists for the job, and went through in-person interviews from May 8 to Tuesday.

In a release, Schelkoph said, “We started with 39 applicants, whittled it down to 10 phone interviews, and finally brought in five applicants for ‘face to face’ interrogations.”

Said Schelkoph, “Thompson is a 29-year veteran of the Henderson Nevada Police department. He has extensive management experience with a tremendous training background in law enforcement. Thompson currently holds a B. A. in public Administration-Law enforcement from Nevada State College and an Associates degree in Criminal Justice. To date Thompson has over 5000 hours of training received and over 1000 hours of instruction given. He is married to his wife Colleen, has 4 children, and 7 grandchildren. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Thompson as our new Police Chief.”

Thompson was visiting Valley City Thursday.

He, wife Colleen Thompson and his youngest son, Erik, will be moving to Valley City, he said.

“I was offered the job Tuesday and I accepted immediately,” Thompson said.

Thompson said he just turned in his retirement from the Henderson Police Department two months ago, and as a result, was able to start the new job quickly.

“I was thinking of retiring, and felt my skill set” would be an asset to Valley City, Thompson said.

Thompson said he has yet to make arrangements for housing in Valley City.
Schelkoph said the announcement was held off until Wednesday “to make sure our local applicants (McDonald and Kiefert) were notified.”

Thompson said he has met department officers, and they “seem to be dedicated police officers – I appreciate the hospitality I was shown by them.”

On Valley City’s hiring committee were Mayor Bob Werkhoven, Commissioner Jon Wagar, City Auditor Avis Richter, City Attorney J. Russell Myhre and Schelkoph.

According to Thompson’s biography on the Henderson, Nev., police department website, Thompson was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and moved to the Las Vegas valley in 1981.

He started his law enforcement career in New Jersey as a reserve officer with the Milltown Police Department where he served for five years. Upon moving to the Vegas Valley, he worked for two years as a reserve officer for the North Las Vegas Police Department. Captain Thompson joined the Henderson Police Department as an officer in 1983. He was promoted to sergeant in 1991 and served in several capacities including being the department’s first SWAT sergeant. He was also HPD’s first accreditation manager running the department’s initial CALEA accreditation process. He was promoted to lieutenant in March 2001 and served as the Homeland Security lieutenant from 2006 to 2008. He was promoted to captain in September 2009 and is currently assigned to criminal investigations.

Thompson has an associate of applied science in criminal justice from the College of Southern Nevada, a bachelor of arts in public administration – criminal justice from Nevada State College, and graduated from the FBI National Police Academy in 2006.