HCSO Operations Captain Kym Thompson Retires After 25 Years of Service

This is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

She is the first and only female operations patrol deputy in Humboldt County history to promote beyond the rank of patrol sergeant, the second of only two female deputies ever assigned to the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, and a champion of ethics and accountability. Now, after almost 25 years of saving lives and protecting our community, Captain Kym Thompson begins a new journey: retirement.

“From the moment you decide you want to be in law enforcement, your life changes,” Thompson said.

For Thompson, that change was drastic, taking her from manufacturing plywood to eventually training the next generation of law enforcement leaders. It all started with a career aptitude test.

“I worked in a plywood mill in the late 80’s and as with a lot of lumber companies and mills, they were planning on closing down that mill,” Thompson said. “A job training center offered to re-train people who wanted to go into other fields of work. They had us sit down and complete this testing process, and from that, one of the things I was purportedly drawn to, or could be good at, was law enforcement.”

The center paid for Thompson’s academy training, setting her up for her career. However, the smooth start wouldn’t last long.

“When I got out of the police academy in 1992, there were layoffs going on all across the state,” Thompson said. “I found myself sitting in the lobby of police and sheriff’s offices next to veteran officers that had 10 to 15 years of experience, and they were all vying for the same jobs that I was vying for.”

Nevertheless, her fighting spirit is what eventually landed her at the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in April of 1994. She was the first patrol hire the office had made in several years. Thompson first served as a Garberville resident deputy. Returning to the main station in 1996, she began a position as a Recruit Training Officer at the College of the Redwoods Police Academy and later became a Field Training Officer for new deputies.

In 2002, Thompson became the second woman to ever be on the Humboldt County Drug Task Force. Then four years later, she was promoted to Sergeant; during this time supervising the main station, McKinleyville and Hoopa sub stations, court protection and animal control. In 2013, she promoted again to Patrol Lieutenant, and two years later, she promoted to Operations Captain.

Throughout her promotions, Thompson continued to teach at the police academy. She is currently teaching a course on law enforcement ethics, something she champions greatly. 2

“It has not been easy,” Thompson said. “The people who were my role models coming up in this agency all had a standard. I’m hoping that I have set an example for others to follow in this agency for their careers if they want to promote up through the ranks.”

After setting the standard high for what it means to be an ethical and respectable law enforcement officer, Thompson now turns the reigns over to the next generation of peace officers, many of which she has trained, to lead the way.

“Captain Kym Thompson will be greatly missed at the Sheriff’s Office,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said. “She always set the bar high for herself and those she supervised. Kym has a strong work ethic and was always the first to work and the last to leave. Throughout her career, her uniform was always the sharpest and her boots were the best polished. Above all, Kym showed that she has a huge heart and she cares deeply for the deputy sheriffs and for the community she serves. We are going to miss her, but are very happy that she can enjoy retirement after 25 years of public service.”

Sheriff Honsal and the entire staff of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office are thankful for Captain Kym Thompson’s many years of service to the community and wish her happiness and success in her retirement.



  • Kym is one of the finest people I have ever met. We are very fortunate to have her around.

  • Thank you for your many, years of service, enjoy your time off!!!

  • I remember her. She singlehandedely took down some deranged violent dude shooting off a gun in Phillipsville . He was twice her size and she just went up and body slammed him and threw him in her squad car and took him away. Everybody on the street clapped as she drove away with him. 😂😂😂

  • My memory is different. One of the rudest most arrogant s cops I have had to deal with in a professional capacity. A terror to work with. Got herself into some trouble in the last year. Harassment charges? Good luck in retirement. Hopefully it suits you better.

    • When Kym was a deputy in So Hum, she helped me and my family several times. Rough around the edges? Yes she is, but she handled her job better than the rest down there. She was blunt but honest, direct and caring. Harassment charges this last year? Just by a disgruntled employee she was supervising who refused to do the job he was hired to do. Thankfully he has since retired his dead weight. Congratulations on your retirement Captain. You have earned it.

      • You have your opinion. I have mine. Probably a disgruntled employee who got sick of her shit. Her attitude was the same as L Christensens. Now there was a real piece of work. Sheriffs department does not like to deal with grievances against unprofessional, and inappropriate employees. Instead the employee who has the balls to stand up to these people get blackballed and treated badly. Once a certain Lieutenant retires who has threatened and badgered employees repeatedly throughout his tenure I would say the sheriffs department has finally cleaned the swamp.

      • There are plenty of those still around there Marty.

  • Any officer that lays down their life for their job deserves the Public’s respect and admiration my father was the jail Commander in the 70s and 80s he was the first jail Commander the job was a lot easier back then we have way too many criminals way too many murders hopefully the future of law enforcement can do something to change it

    • Take Humbold5 Back

      The only way to solve those murders and missing persons cases is to actually devote some time and resources in that direction…. Right now no murders are solved, the Sheriff Department os mor interested in busting pot grows because this makes money for his department through seizing peoples property, see this has became a business game for Humboldt, and the County has come to depend on the stolen money which was stolen frok our local cannabis farmers. No crimes will be solved untill there is a cultural shift inside the HCSO.

  • Opinions are like as-holes: everbody’s got one!

  • She is not a nice person .good riddance .I got nothing good to say about her .man hater

  • Law Enforcement Ethics. That’s a laugh. The Drug War made a mockery of your job.

  • Well, she has very pretty eyes, and my guess is her devotion to ethical law enforcement made a couple of the newer recruits feel a tad unmanned. That’s never a good sign for a peace officer, guys, and it’s probably a big relief to her to be away from it now. Glad she’s still teaching ethics even if she didn’t manage to get through to some of the deputies who probably need it more than most.

  • Is she relatet to you Kym? You both has the same name.

  • No thanks for your services

    Thank you so much for your years of violating people in the hills of humboldt.stealing families grocery money, gas money, money to pay the mortgage, and lets not forget hard working perants money for there childrens school clothes.maybe have a few extra bucks so donate to the booster club, throw a few bucks in a can for some local needing medical help,or go to a benefit for a worthy cause.thats what made this a great place to call home

  • Thank you Kym for your many years of service to our city and county, it is very much appreciated. Enjoy your retirement and have fun. You will be missed by many.

  • I knew kym before she was a LEO.

    I’ve always liked kym, she carried herself well and strived to be the best at what she did. In fact, while she was going to school she had a little lawn care gig going on which could have gone big except her career choice was law enforcement.

    Best of luck in retirement kym!

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