Meritorious Service Award

Police Chief Art Bodenheimer stated that this award has never been presented during the 30 years he has worked for the Police Department.  He then stated, that on July 15, 2016 at approximately 12:29 PM, Lieutenant Gerald Dempsey was on his way to work in his marked patrol unit traveling east on Interstate 4. Lieutenant Dempsey observed a crash which occurred a few vehicles in front of him. A Dodge Caravan left the roadway and entered the grass median before striking the three strand wire cross over median barrier. Lieutenant Dempsey observed a cloud of dirt that instantly rose up in the air approximately 30 feet indicating, from his training and experience, a major impact had occurred.


Lieutenant Dempsey immediately pulled off the shoulder of the roadway and responded to the crashed vehicle within the median. Lieutenant Dempsey observed that the driver and sole occupant in the vehicle had sustained what he believed to be a catastrophic injury. The driver was bleeding profusely from an arterial laceration to his neck that was sustained during the crash. After observing the injury Lieutenant Dempsey was able to give information over the radio for responding rescue units.


Lieutenant Dempsey took immediate action and was able to apply towels to the laceration in an attempt to slow the loss of blood from the driver. During this process the driver was not conscious, exhibiting very shallow breathing and had began to produce a bubbling substance from his mouth. Lieutenant Dempsey was able to apply his medical experience and training, along with calmness to the scene, until other medical professionals arrived on scene and took over advanced medical care.


Contact was made with other fire/medical staff that arrived on scene and it was confirmed, through those individuals, that without the quick actions that Lieutenant Dempsey took, the driver would have most likely succumbed to his injuries, which is not a good sign.


It is with great pleasure that I present Lieutenant Dempsey with the Meritorious Service Award from the Lake Alfred Police Department. It is actions like those of Lieutenant Dempsey that makes me proud to serve as the Police Chief of the Lake Alfred Police Department.

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