University District honors Marilyn Thompson as police officer of the year

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock University District honored a 22-year veteran of the UALR Police Department as its UALR Police Officer of the Year ceremony. Sgt. Marilyn Thompson received the award for her dedicated community-oriented policing on and around the campus.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock University District honored a 22-year veteran of the UALR Police Department as its UALR Police Officer of the Year.

Sgt. Marilyn Thompson received the award for her dedicated community-oriented policing on and around the campus.

“Being a police officer is a rewarding job, and it is something that I love because I am a people person. I have not met a stranger at all. I can talk to you for five minutes and it’s like I’ve known you all my life,” Thompson said.

Thompson graduated from UALR in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology. She graduated from the Little Rock Police Academy in 1990.

She began her career as a patrol officer with the Little Rock Police Department. In 1994, Thompson joined the UALR Police Department.

Thompson has led community workshops on women in law enforcement and active shooter training. She has also been honored for her participation in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take Back program.

The award ceremony was part of the district’s National Night Out celebration on Oct. 4, which honored the emergency responders who serve the neighborhoods that surround UALR. 

National Night Out is a community-building initiative that promotes safety through neighborhood camaraderie and police-community partnerships. The  National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit crime prevention organization, started the campaign.  

The firefighters of Little Rock Fire Station No. 3, who were honored as the University District Firefighters of the Year. Photos by Larry Rhodes.
The firefighters of Little Rock Fire Station No. 3, who were honored as the University District Firefighters of the Year. Photos by Larry Rhodes.

In addition to Thompson, University District officials honored:

  • Little Rock Police Department Officer Shawn Bakr, who was named the University District Police Officer of the Year for his actions in stopping an armed robbery in January. Bakr was shot in the shoulder while responding to three individuals who tried to rob Red Lobster.

  • Little Rock Police Department Officers Jarred Gitz, Christopher Henderson, and Irving Jackman III, who were honored for saving the life of a University District resident. On April 17, 2016, the officers gave life-saving first aid to a resident while responding to a call on West 23rd Street.

  • The firefighters of Little Rock Fire Station No. 3, who were honored as the University District Firefighters of the Year.

  • Paramedic Cody Hughes and Emergency Medical Technician Brad Barnett, who received the MEMS (Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services) Award and were named University District Paramedics of the Year for saving the life of a University District resident in cardiac arrest.
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