Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Retiring officer makes plea to fight ice

After 42 years keeping people from going off the rails, Rochester Leading Senior Constable Steve Dempsey has implored the community to unite against methamphetamine use.

ELAINE COONEY June 3, 2014 3:10am

Leading Senior Constable John Atley, Leading Sen. Constable Steve Dempsey, Leading Sen. Constable Simon Pearson and Sergeant Simm. Photo: Elaine Cooney

Rochester Leading Senior Constable Steve Dempsey will retire next month after 42 years in the police force.

His parting request to the community was to bind together to stop methamphetamine, or ice, destroying society.

He said the drug could quickly take hold of people to the detriment of families.

Leading Senior Constable Dempsey said it was a challenge for police and residents and encouraged everyone to play their part.

‘‘Dob in anyone who you know is using ice even if it’s your kids that have a problem,’’ he said.

He said the police were not just law enforcers and could help families get the necessary help.

Leading Sen. Constable Dempsey has been stationed in Rochester for 27 years and said when parents came to him about their misbehaving children he reminded them of how they were at the same age.

He said the best part of community policing was helping children who were ‘‘going off the rails’’ to see sense.

Leading Sen. Constable Dempsey said many became valuable members of society, but he was not able to steer everyone in the right direction.



During his time as a police officer, he was commended by Victoria Police for not shooting when he drew his gun on a knife-wielding attacker.

On another occasion he thought he was shot when inspecting a hole in an upstairs window, but discovered it was a ball bearing fired from some distance.

Sergeant Dale Simm said Leading Sen. Constable Dempsey’s best weapon was his mouth.

‘‘He is a great communicator,’’ he said.

The toughest part of local policing for Leading Sen. Constable Dempsey is telling people of the death of a loved one.

He once had to deliver such news to a woman with a new baby.

‘‘You try to make it as nice as you can and put measures in place but there is always shock and trauma when you break the news initially,’’ he said.

Leading Sen. Constable Dempsey said he would miss his colleagues, but was ready for retirement.

Elaine Cooney

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