Friday, June 07, 2013

IN MEMORY OF: Dr. George Thompson ( - June 7, 2011)

Two years ago today marks the passing of Dr. George Thompson. His contribution to Law Enforcement (as well as to anyone who needs to speak to people) cannot be overstated enough. He created Verbal Judo which essentially is a blueprint on how Law Enforcement should speak to the general public. I'm not Law Enforcement nor know anyone personally, but his Verbal Judo book/teachings has opened a new dimension for my Self-Defense thinking as well as my day-to-day life,

AUBURN, N.Y. — Dr. George Thompson, the English professor-turned-street-cop who ultimately taught one million professionals the art of verbally redirecting negative behavior, passed away June 7 at his home in Auburn, New York. He was 69.

Here at PoliceOne, Doc Thompson contributed columns for many years, beginning in 2005. He helped our community examine how conscious communication impacts the job. He regularly contributed tactical tips, too, and had us thinking about human interaction as a tool for police.

Dr. Thompson was affectionally called “Doc” by the professionals he trained in his methodology of Verbal Judo. To develop his tactics, he would watch police officers participate in real-time crisis situations and observe strategies for talking down violence.

Using what he observed from the “salty old dogs,” as he liked to call the LEOs, he assembled a legion of global trainers who brought the lessons to police forces. He trained departments large and small, including the NYPD and LAPD. He also worked with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Private enterprises outside of law enforcement have been trained in his methodology, too, in order to protect employees from verbal assault and physical violence. Verbal conflict mitigation can be applied to harassment and bullying in general as well as the issues that are more specific to police.

Dr. Thompson held a B.A. from Colgate University and a Master’s and Doctorate in English from the University of Connecticut. He completed post-doctoral work at Princeton University in Rhetoric and Persuasion and went on to author four books, also publishing work that appears in magazines and periodicals. Major networks like 48 Hours and Inside Edition have reported on his training techniques.
Doc often called his communications strategy “martial art of the mind and mouth,” and was a fan of martial arts himself. He achieved a 2nd Dan in Judo.

Doc Thompson survived throat cancer for many years, and staunchly committed himself to a busy speaking and training schedule despite his condition, which reduced his ability to speak for extended periods of time.
He had recently received treatment to enhance his breathing, and he passed away unexpectedly. Doc’s family includes his wife, Pam, their nine-year-old son Tommy Rhyno Thompson, two adult children, Kelley (Ronald) Monach and Taylor (Valerie) Thompson, and five grandchildren.

Dr. George J. Thompson is the President and Founder of the Verbal Judo Institute, a tactical training and management firm based in Auburn, NY. He has trained more than 700,000 police, corrections, and security professionals and his Verbal Judo course is required in numerous states. The course has been tailored for other organizations, including mental health, the gaming industry, and hospitals.

Doc received his B.A. from Colgate University (1963), his Masters and Doctorate in English from the University of Connecticut (1972), and he completed post-doctoral work at Princeton University in Rhetoric & Persuasion (1979). Widely published in magazines and periodicals, his training has been highlighted in such national media outlets as NBC, ABC, & CBS News, CNN, 48 Hours, Inside Edition, LETN, In the Line of Duty, and Fox news, as well as in the LA Times, NY Post, Sacramento Bee, and other publications.

Doc has created the only "Tactical Communication" course in the world and he has written five books on Verbal Judo, each analyzing ways to defuse conflict and redirect behavior into more positive channels. The Verbal Judo Institute, offers Basic & Advanced courses in the Tactics of Verbal Judo, and a five-day Instructor Training option.

As of July of 2009, several new online Verbal Judo resources are available:

For free audio newsletter for police, corrections and security professionals click here.

To obtain the free multi-media newsletter for civilians click here.

Online and telephone coaching program for individuals who have received prior training in Verbal Judo are available as well.  Simply click here.

On a personal note, Doc and Pam are the proud parents of seven-year old, Tommy Rhyno Thompson, and Doc, a survivor of throat cancer, has returned to active teaching. You can contact Doc via e-mail at at VJI, Inc., 2009 W. Genesee St. Rd., Auburn, NY 13021, 315-253-0007.

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I've archived some of Dr. Thompson's articles:

May Dr. Thompson's Verbal Judo help you in your communications with others!



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