BURRILLVILLE - A veteran cop with the Burrillville Police Department, who received the state's highest honor for lifesaving last year, was feted by the Boston Celtics and the Massachusetts State Lottery at a Mass. Statehouse ceremony earlier this month as a 2010-2011 Heroes Among Us recipient.
Last year, Lt. Dennis C. Leahey was one of six Rhode Islanders honored for their lifesaving heroics during a ceremony at the statehouse. Then-Gov. Donald Carcieri and Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis presented each hero with the state's 2010 State Lifesaving Medal, which are awarded every year.
Leahey was recognized for saving a man from choking at a Warwick restaurant. While off-duty, Leahey was eating lunch at the restaurant when another patron suffered a seizure. Leahey opened the victim's airway and kept him stable until the EMTs arrived.
Earlier this month, he was honored by the Boston Celtics for 2010-2011 Heroes Among Us recipients.
The Heroes Among Us award, established by the Celtics 13 years ago, recognizes individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to their communities. Each recipient received congratulations from Celtics legends Bob Cousy and Tom â€śSatchâ€ť Sanders along with Massachusetts State Treasurer Steven Grossman and Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck.
Leahey was initially honored during a Jan. 3, 2011 home game versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"We're proud of Lt. Leahey," Burrillville Town Council President Nancy Binns said at a recent council meeting. "This is the second time he's been recognized for a lifesaving measure and we're proud to have him as an important member of our police department."
Leahey was promoted to the rank of lieutenant last month. He also serves as the night patrol commander.
He joined the department as a patrolman in 1987 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1994. He has served as the dayshift supervisor for the past several years and has taken on a leadership role in many areas, most notably with the issue of domestic violence. He works closely with several Rhode Island agencies dealing with domestic issues.
Leahey teaches domestic violence-related classes to both police officers and dispatchers throughout the state and is considered to be an expert in the field. He holds a bachelorâ€™s degree from Providence College and is also a past president of the Rhode Island Law Enforcement Trainers Association. With his current promotion to lieutenant, he now serves in the capacity of night patrol commander.
Lt. Leahey lives in Providence with his fiancĂ©e, Melissa, and is the father of two adult daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth, and a son, Jacob, who is a high school student at Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket.