George Thompson, the English professor-turned-street cop who taught law enforcement professionals the art of verbally redirecting negative behavior, has died.
Thompson, known as "Doc" to those trained in his methodology, died Tuesday at his home in Auburn, N.Y. He was 69.
Thompson developed his tactics by witnessing seasoned law enforcement professionals, whom he affectionally called "salty old dogs," talk down violent subjects and generate voluntary cooperation in real-time crisis situations.
Through his Verbal Judo Institute and Verbal Defense and Influence program, Thompson led trainers around the world and taught these tactics to within police forces including the New York Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Hospitals, government institutions and corporations such as Southwest Airlines and IBM have also been taught these techniques as a means to enhance professionalism and protect employees from verbal assault and physical violence.
In recent years, his methodology has expanded to encompass deflection and de-escalation techniques that address harassment and bullying.
Thompson has written and published four books, including "Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion" that's scheduled to be republished in an updated edition in late 2012. It has sold more than 250,000 copies.
Thompson, who achieved a 2nd Dan in Judo, often referred to his communications methodology as the "martial art of the mind and mouth."
He's survived by his wife, Pam, their 9-year-old son Tommy Rhyno Thompson, two adult children, Kelley (Ronald) Monach and Taylor (Valerie) Thompson, and five grandchildren.