An ex-La Crosse police lieutenant convicted of stealing fake drugs from his department has been jailed for violating terms of his electronic monitoring.

A judge Wednesday issued a warrant for Brian Thomson after he tested positive for alcohol on Sunday, according to court records. He was booked into the La Crosse County Jail about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Monroe County Circuit Judge Todd Ziegler in February sentenced the former patrol lieutenant to three months in jail without release and three months on electronic monitoring before he began serving three years on probation.

Thomson was released from custody June 19 to three months on electronic monitoring. The judge Wednesday ordered him to serve the remaining time, about two months, in custody, although he can ask for a hearing.

Thomson, 45, pleaded guilty in December to stealing fake prescription pills from the department after it caught him in a sting. He had resigned from his position after his arrest in August.

He later admitted stealing and using meth at least three times, though authorities believe he tampered with more than 60 packages of illegal and prescription drugs seized during searches and arrests, drugs that he then used while working.

Anne Jungen covers law enforcement and the criminal justice system in La Crosse County. She joined the Tribune reporting staff in December 2005. You can contact her directly at or 608-791-8224.

(27) comments


If he asks for a hearing, the signature bond will double and he will be back out

And why

This really is not a new thing that cops do wrong too. Anyone remember Byerson?????? Catbirds??? Just whether or not they are charged with anything.


Here is an analogy; priests that molest should not be held as accountable because you just can't understand the stress of their job. Have you ever been a priest? Have you thought about all the good they do?

Minnesota just added a mandatory $300 fine for speeding through construction zones on top of the standard fine. Why? Because they had a problem that would not stop.

The idea of harsher penalties to solve a problem (and it IS a problem) is not without precedent. How about an extra year on probation for "ethical rehabilitation"?

How about permanent removal from law enforcement?


Cont..broken down construction, housekeeping. Etc etc person continuing to get paid full salary, keep job and same pay and retire at 50 with full benefits? Oh, and by the way, I was followed twice, stopped twice in the past 10 Yeats by a policeman and his cronies because they didn't like me. Just saying. Get a real job, you earned. Treat people with respect. A lot of people have risky jobs. You are not alone. Breakup the brotherhood "gang" mentality and live in reality. And, if you do the time, pay the fine. (Random drug testing should be required like at most large companies, hospitals, etc).......just saying....


Whole situation sad. Don't know this man's history but had many issues with police, etc other public employees sense of entitlement, arrogance, and disrespect. Have very little personal interactions, no criminal record, maybe 3 speed/parking tickets 30+ yes of driving. My observations in the fw other police interactions has been a 50/50 split of arrogence. I and others deserve respect not guilt or mistrratment. Who do they think they are? I have an almost complete disregard for police fire and other civil servants. We are your customers, not your punching bags. Oh yeah, 50/50 split on arrogance from fire dept on rmergency medical/welfare calls. Again, arrogance. Entitlement and nepotism. Exists everywhere in police and fire especially among civil servans. Totally unacceptable and needs to stop!!!! Might as well elect them. Police and fire commissions are a joke. Als, police and fireman that are out of shape shouldn't be able to continue on the job. Ever see a broken dow

you think you know

Interesting that he gets locked up when he breaks his probation after the first time. Didn't Indra Book or whatever her name was violate her probation over 30 times?

I agree this guy should be sent to jail, just like I think that woman should have been sent to jail as well?

Why the disparity, was it different this case because he's a cop and the judges are trying to appear tough or prove a point?


Oh lord.....I think Indra broke her probation at least 100 times. It still is a running joke.


He was serving his jail on electronic monitoring. He violated and is now serving his jail in jail. Nothing to do with probation.


All Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Paramedics and other public servants in sensitive positions should be drug tested every other exceptions. Refusal to test will result in termination.My sympathy to this officers family and loved ones. They lived through the hell of an addiction that has cost him his job, his reputation, possibly his family, his investments and so much more. He's probably a pretty good guy, but the drugs turned him into an addicted, calculating, deceiving and lying addict...just like the ones he interacted with on the streets....the kind that he never envisioned himself EVER becoming ...he was too smart and experienced to ever fall into the world of an addiction...but he did...and I pray he can come out of that world and back into being a great Dad and husband. Sad story for so many.


Drug testing once a month isn't going to do much. Drug tests mainly look for pot unless you've used in the last 3 to 5 days.


At least the 2 bad La Crosse cops are gone. They were cops for a long time before they were caught. Seems like someone should have noticed that the guy had a drug and alcohol problem. He better get his act together or he could end up in the big house. Not a good place for a cop.


Before getting busy outside I knew some knucklehead or heads would respond with some bs and throw all kinds of irrelevant and various local situations out there as I stated and overblow the situation. I expect that from the clueless and those who don't get it or never will. Naïve statements like "Middle of an epidemic" and "what the average citizen can't understand" just shows the ignorance out there, What a joke made from someone totally twisted in their views but I understand why. I have no problem with criticizing the cops because they have to be held accountable but what I stated previously is accurate and based on 27 years experience in a place unlike anything around here. Unfortunately, some of these clowns who sit around all day and live on this spew there ignorant rhetoric. Sad but laughable. Just shake my head as there will be those.


You are arrangant. You must be right about everything. You were a cop right? We average people, who you know nothing about, may do or have done more dangerous service than yourself and all have no or less education as you but we "don't have a clue"?. Please. And us "clowns are all sitting around all day" while you are "retiredcop" at 50 right? Mmmmm....what did you do today to earm my respect? Since, I pay your retirement and paid your wages as a law abiding citizen whoneeded protection and did no harm. Just average and guess what, even above and below average, (and who by the way, who determines what a person is, money, character, education?) Well, we are "shaking our heads at you, those who will be those" . your words, not mine.


And you wonder why the public at large is becoming more and more skeptical of people like you.


This guy may have ruined 60 drug cases! He should get at least a month for every case that gets dismissed for having tampered evidence.


And every time someone criticizes the cops, someone (usually a cop) says how nobody can understand unless they've been a cop.

Tell us where cops come from? They are just like you and me and come from the population…not born into the job. There is nothing they do that the average citizen cannot understand. Because if we can't understand, then we cannot support.

We need to have tougher penalties for crooked cops to help stop this epidemic of bad behavior - pull their pensions, no plea bargain.

Isn't harsher penalties what cops lobby for when there are other epidemics of crime?


It is not a few bad apples. Galesville, Readstown, Onalaska, and more than those listed in La Crosse. Duck hunting bring any to mind? Sparta, Tomah….you name it, Deputies running down kids then admitting it was a bad choice. Osseo, Whitehall. We are in the middle of an epidemic of ethically challenged police.

Instead of going easy on cops because somehow they did "good" for a bit, we need to begin to hold their responsibility and the fact that they failed it into sentencing.

If they are on a pedestal, then they fall further than most and should be more harshly sentenced.



I agree 120% Jobaba.


The reality of this is you are always going to have a few bad apples who tarnish the badge. Fortunately, most departments deal with these situations properly, contrary to what some may think. Overall, the vast majority of cops do the right thing in a very difficult profession. Its just that when one screws up its front page news and then over blown by some who are clueless as to the real workings of those in this occupation. Once you work in a city with hard gangs, thugs, rampant drugs, daily shootings, robberies, etc you get an education and find out how out of control things are getting due to our over tolerance. They are just the thin blue line between some order and chaos. With what goes on out there I know "personally" that the level of force used is appropriate in the vast majority of situations and am really surprised more at times isn't used. But unless you walk the walk one will not know that, but be inclined to sit back and criticize with pure naivety and ignorance.


You may have some points that are worth looking at there RetPopo. Citizens live in the real world everyday too. We see the stuff going on. I think cops are are under a great deal of stress once in a while, but like many soldiers in the field deal with a level of boredom in between. Cops need to undergo better training in dealing with social and psychological issues and need more oversight from outside watchdogs to help officers on the edge and to make sure they're behavior is line with serving the community and not wreaking havoc on it.

If cops can't stop looking at absolutely everyone without thinking they're a perp we're going to have more problems.


Everyone, including myself, complains that the La Crosse judges are too lenient. But its tough to convict people when the police who arrest them are losing their credibility in the community.


Judges are elected and get reelected unopposed time after time. If the citizens of La Crosse do not want these judges it's within their power to find candidates to run against them and work for their election. We, the electorate, are responsible for the judges and elected officials we have.

But the police are hired employees of the city and ordinary citizens of La Crosse have nothing to do with their hiring and are powerless in regards to it. When citizens begin to lose trust and credibility in their police force, it is a sad thing. Ordinary people have no recourse to show up at the polls and vote to change their police force, they are forced to live with and under the one they have.


What is frightening is in the last year three local police officers have been arrested, charged and found guilty of crimes - one for stealing meth from the evidence room, one for threatening to kill his family, and another - the chief of police of all people - stealing a "civilians" identity to try and ruin someone online and then lying about it when confronted.

This is all happening as the police become more militarized and more forceful...the police of today are HARDLY the same culture as they were even, say, 30 years ago. And it is no wonder why the public at large is becoming more and more distrustful. Every single person in America should be driving with a dash cam and video taping every encounter they have with the police.

Condor Kid

A guy can't even get a drink these days. Lol!


Want a definition of 'stupid', then just read about Brian Thomson in this article. Want to see a picture of 'stupid', just see the one of Brian Thomson in this article.


Rot in jail. Spend your time considering your own sense of privilege.


Bad news has a problem with drugs and alcohol. Bad news LPD,makes you think MMMMMM

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