MEET THE CHIEF
David Edward Thompson- The People's Leader
David knew at a young age that he marched to the beat of his own drum. The Savannah native was born to Betty and John Thompson on August 29th, 1955. David was the second born of 5 children. David excelled at sports and school, and when it was time to graduate, he decided to attend Florida State University to pursue a degree in criminal justice. Little did he know, this decision would shape his entire future.
While attending FSU, David participated in many extracurricular activities, including being the President of the FSU Waterski Club. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Jeanine Wilcox, a woman who could "throw a football with a perfect spiral", according to Thompson. But, something else occurred at FSU during this same time; there was a serial killer on campus, specifically targeting women with long brown hair, parted down the middle... women who looked a lot like Jeanine. Theodore Bundy was of course apprehended, but Thompson came to know a whole world that he had previously only read in books. He wanted to make a difference. After graduating from Florida State, Thompson and Wilcox tied the knot.
Thompson started work on his master's degree while Jeanine was working as a Special Education teacher in Lenoir, North Carolina. He had applied for a position with the Lenoir Police Department and quickly worked his way up to sergeant, detective, and administrative lieutenant. During his tenure, a 13 year old girl was murdered near a shopping mall, and the case remained unsolved for about a year. Thompson eventually got the opportunity to interrogate a suspect in the case who was also suspected in 2 additional murders of girls, ages 7 and 5. He was able to obtain confessions on 2 of the 3 cases. The killer spent the rest of his life in prison.
A family friend told David that Atlantic Beach, Florida was advertising for a police chief. He was only 28 years old when he was hired to be the Chief of a City in Florida called, "Atlantic Beach". There is a naval base (Mayport) that created some special challenges for the community, and there were a number of law enforcement issues in need of attention. After 25 years as the Chief of Police, he retired and accepted the job as assistant city manager. In 2012, he accepted an appointment as the Chief of Police in Springfield, Tennessee.