The new Greensboro Police Chief John Thompson was officially sworn into office at a ceremony at the Carolina Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The announcement that Thompson would be the next chief of the Greensboro Police Department was made on Thursday, Dec. 15, and Thompson took over as police chief on Friday, Dec. 16.
After less than a month as police chief, it is too far too early to compare Thompson’s record to that of prior chiefs of police. However, after the swearing in ceremony it is apparent that Thompson is the most humorous police chief Greensboro has had in decades, if not ever.
After being officially sworn in, Thompson thanked everyone and talked about the “challenging, lengthy and at times stressful” hiring process.
Then he said that during the hiring process, “There were really a lot of sacrifices on my part, one of those sacrifices I haven’t discussed with my wife yet, not sure this is the right opportunity, but ‘Honey, we’re going to have to have another child.’ I promised the city manager that if he offered me the job that we would name our next child after him. The good news with that is that I think Taiwo Thompson is actually kind of catchy.”
For readers who are humor challenged, that was a joke and certainly those in the audience understood it was a joke, because Thompson had to pause for the crowd to quiet down before he could continue.
Both City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba and Assistant City Manager Trey Davis described Thompson as someone who thought outside the box and Thompson’s first speech as chief certainly provided evidence that at least as far as public speaking is concerned that is true.
That was certainly not the only humor in Thompson’s speech, but probably got the biggest laugh.
On a more serious note, Thompson talked about the four tenets that governed his life: compassion, service, hard work and humility.
Thompson said that he had never gone into any room thinking he was the smartest person in the room, the most creative or the most attractive. But he added, “I’ve always gone into any room feeling like I could outwork anybody in that room.”
You could say that he has his work cut out for him in his new job.