Greensboro has a new police chief.

Greensboro City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba announced on Thursday, Dec. 15 that Assistant Chief John Thompson will be the new Greensboro police chief.

Thompson will take over his duties as police chief on Friday, Dec. 16.  The city conducted a nationwide search and, according to Assistant City Manager Trey Davis who spearheaded the search for a new chief, the list of applicants was impressive.  The big question in hiring a new police chief is whether to go inside or outside the police department.  One of the many advantages of hiring from within is that Thompson can be up and running as the new police chief with one day’s official notice.

Thompson has been with the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) since 2003, after starting his career in law enforcement in Asheboro in 1998.

Thompson will be replacing former Greensboro Police Chief Brian James, who announced his retirement from the GPD in April and retired on May 31.  James didn’t stay retired long – he took over as chief of the UNC Chapel Hill police department on July 1.

Assistant Police Chief Teresa Biffle has been serving as interim police chief since James retired.

Davis in the press release said, “The community will appreciate how John applies people-centered approach to law enforcement. His leadership qualities align with many of the traits the community shared in public forums.  Chief Thompson will serve the City with distinction, while positioning GPD as a national model in policing.  The City is grateful to Interim Chief Teresa Biffle for her leadership in this transition period.”

Thompson said, “It is truly an honor to be selected to lead such a nationally accredited agency with an exceptional team of dedicated officers and employees. I am prioritizing challenges, such as violent crime and police community relations, while proposing unique approaches to recruitment and retention through innovation and inclusivity.  The community will play a vital role in achieving public safety for all Greensboro residents.”

Thompson has served in numerous roles in the GPD including Planning and Research, Vice/Narcotics Division, Resource Management Division and is currently the commander of the Patrol Division.

He has a bachelor of science degree from Guilford College and an MBA from Pfeiffer University.