Former Topeka police officer’s law enforcement certification suspended

Stephen Thompson, a former Topeka police officer, had his law enforcement certification suspended earlier this month by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training. (May 2015 file photo/The Capital-Journal)

A former Topeka police officer had his law enforcement certification suspended last week.

 

Stephen J. Thompson, 46, was suspended from working as an officer in the state, according to documents obtained through an open records request.

Records from the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training are partially redacted and don’t indicate what prompted the suspension.

CPOST is the state’s 12-member body responsible for granting, suspending, revoking or denying police certification.

Thompson began as a TPD officer in June 1994. He left in February 2003 and returned to the agency a year later. In January 2005, he was promoted to sergeant.

In July 2006, Thompson was indicted in connection with battery and mistreatment of a confined person. According to The Capital-Journal archives, the case stemmed from an April 2, 2006, incident involving an altercation with a handcuffed man. A police investigation concluded that Thompson had violated the department’s policies during the struggle. However, the criminal charges were dismissed after the man failed to show up in court.

Shawnee County District Court records indicate Thompson was married for a time to Erin Thompson, 41, a former Shawnee County sheriff’s detective. In September, Erin Thompson pleaded guilty to two counts of interfering with law enforcement. A Capital-Journal story said she surrendered her law enforcement license; however she isn’t listed by CPOST as an officer with a revoked license. Interference is one of 58 misdemeanors on which CPOST may take action, said Michelle Meier, commission counsel for CPOST. However, the agency couldn’t comment on specific individuals.

“Regarding Erin Thompson, I cannot disclose whether or not we have a current investigation,” Meier said. “If a certification action is taken on any officer, it will be posted on our website once the order is final.”

Stephen Thompson left TPD in March 2017, according to CPOST’s records.

Topeka police Lt. Colleen Stuart said the department doesn’t comment on personnel actions.

CPOST most often initiates an investigation when they receive a notice of termination or status change form from local law enforcement departments, Meier said.

If there is a criminal investigation, the agency will wait until it has concluded so it doesn’t interfere and can present all relevant information.

Cases are then presented to the Commission Investigative Committee, which directs an action, Meier said.

In 2017, CPOST took action on 38 officers. One of those officers was with TPD. Victor J. Soto was an officer from February 1998 to January 2016. His certification was suspended in June 2017. Redacted records don’t indicate what caused his suspension.

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CPOST actions in 2018

2 certification revocations

1 certification suspension

7 certification reprimands

CPOST actions in 2017

36 certification revocations

2 certification suspensions

CPOST actions in 2016

43 certification revocations

1 certification suspension

3 reprimands

SOURCE: CPOST

 

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