Donna Laird Tompkins was born in Jasper, Alabama. She and her family moved to Columbus when she was 14, where she attended Baker High School. Needing only 2 credits to graduate, Donna made the decision to graduate early from Hallie Turner Private School in 1981. She began Columbus College that Fall and graduated with an Associate degree in Criminal Justice in 1986. She went on to earn her Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice in 1996, and earned her Master’s in Public Administration in 2005. In 2015 Sheriff Tompkins earned her Professional Human Resource National Certification.
Sheriff Tompkins began as a civilian employee in the Recorder’s Court as a court clerk in 1984, which was part of the Sheriff’s Office at that time. In 1993, she transferred to the jail and took on the responsibilities of a correction’s officer. In 1994, Sheriff Tompkins attended Basic Law Enforcement Training and graduated with her basic peace officer certification.
Sheriff Tompkins served in Patrol Services until 2000, when she was promoted to Sergeant. From 2000 to 2003 Sheriff Tompkins served in both the Patrol and Administrative Division, providing her with a broad exposure to the realm of services the Sheriff’s Office provides Columbus, Georgia. In 2003, she returned to Recorder’s Court to be responsible for day-to-day operations of the court as a Sergeant.
Sheriff Tompkins was recommended for attendance at the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College by Sheriff Ralph Johnson where she completed that training program while simultaneously earning her Master’s in Public Administration at Columbus State University. Promoted to Lieutenant in 2007, Tompkins attended and graduated from Criminal Investigations Training and Internal Affairs Investigations Training to further prepare for command.
As a Lieutenant, Sheriff Tompkins directed the Internal Affairs Division while also serving as the community liaison for the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Tompkins served in this capacity until 2009 when she became a shift commander at the Muscogee County Jail. Sheriff Tompkins served as a shift commander for 3 years, and was subsequently appointed to be the Grievance Officer and PREA Coordinator for the jail.
In 2014, Sheriff Tompkins was promoted to Captain and assigned to the Human Resource Administration Division where she served until her retirement in March 2016. In 2016 Sheriff Tompkins retired to run for the Office of Sheriff. In December 2016 she became the first elected female Sheriff of Muscogee County, Georgia.
Sheriff Tompkins has been married to Greg Tompkins for 32 years and together they have raised 2 children. Sheriff Tompkins attends Cascade Hills Church and enjoys walking her dogs in the park with her husband. Sheriff Tompkins is invested in Columbus and its future, and continues to serve her community with integrity, commitment and experience.
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