This letter is being written in support of Tyngsborough Police Officer Dennis Leach receiving a Massachusetts Police Association Medal of Valor, for the heroism which he showed on July 16, 2016, in which he went above and beyond the call of duty in the defense of a fellow Officer.
On the evening of Saturday July 16th, 2016 Officer Dennis Leach was patrolling the West Sector of Tyngsborough, MA when he observed a vehicle traveling erratically on Westford Rd which was later discovered to be stolen. When Officer Leach attempted to stop the motor vehicle it attempted to elude him, traveling through business parking lots and side streets before entering Route 3.
Officer Leach continued to pursue the vehicle on Rt 3 and in to Chelmsford, MA. The vehicle then exited Rt 3 in Chelmsford where it again began to travel down side streets, at times through neighborhoods, and on the lawns of residents. Officer Leach showed effective judgement as he safely pursued the vehicle and steered it out of a populated neighborhood and back on to the main road where a Chelmsford Police cruiser could aid in the pursuit.
The assailant continued in his attempt to evade pursuing units, and pulled in to the parking lot of a busy ice cream stand. At this time the suspect put the lives of more than 100 patrons of the ice cream stand in danger. Upon entering the lot, the suspect rammed his vehicle in to a Chelmsford Police cruiser. Sergeant Fredericks attempted to remove the suspect from his vehicle and in doing so was ultimately dragged by the suspects’ vehicle as he further attempted to evade capture.
The suspects’ further erratic and life threatening operation caused Sgt. Fredericks to be thrown from the side of the suspects’ vehicle and in to the cruiser. This caused Sgt. Fredericks to lose consciousness and rendering him helpless as he lay directly in the path of the suspects’ vehicle. Without hesitation, Officer Leach, who had exited his vehicle, fired two rounds at the suspects’ vehicle striking the operator in the head.
Officer Leach’s quick actions prevented the suspect from further running Sgt. Fredericks over, possibly killing him, as well as eliminating the threat of serious bodily injury or death to all the patrons in the area.
Following Officer Leach’s quick and effective actions Chelmsford Officers Robert Brown, and Kristen Leary quickly arrived on scene as these events were developing and rendered medical care to Sgt. Fredericks and the suspect. It was the outstanding efforts of these Chelmsford Officers which ultimately saved the life of the suspect, and ensured Sgt. Fredericks further safety.
It is with the greatest pleasure that I had the opportunity to be working while these events took place and witnessed the camaraderie and support which these Officers provided to each other during this intense situation and the weeks that followed.
It is without any doubt that the quick and decisive actions of Officer Leach effected the arrest of a dangerous felon as well as ensured the safety of more than 100 helpless individuals, and his fellow Officers, who also directly put their lives in danger.
It is with great honor that I have the opportunity to write this letter requesting that Officer Leach be considered as a Massachusetts Police Association Medal of Valor recipient at the 2016 Massachusetts Police Convention for his actions. Should Officer Leach be awarded this Medal of Valor, I have no doubt that it will be received with the utmost gratitude by him, and no matter what the decision in this matter may be, I will continue to be thankful and honored to work with an Officer of his caliber.
Officer Daniel J. Whitman
NEPBA Local 8AShare