October 1999 Officer of the Month

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Lieutenant Dennis P. Sullivan, of the United States Mint Police, as its Officer of the Month for October 1999.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Lieutenant Dennis P. Sullivan, of the United States Mint Police, as its Officer of the Month for October 1999. Lieutenant Sullivan is assigned to the U.S. Mint’s West Point, New York, facility.

When you ask Lieutenant Sullivan what he feels is the highlight of his police career, with a raspy voice he responds, “Greeting the survivors getting off the buses at the Memorial’s Candlelight Vigil and talking with the family members who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. That beats out all the cowboy stuff.” The “cowboy stuff” Lieutenant Sullivan refers to is the 18 medals he’s received for his police work, the 14 medals he received for his courage and heroism in Vietnam, and the numerous letters of commendation.

After serving in Vietnam, where he was wounded in combat, Dennis Sullivan joined the New York City Police Department 1969. For the next 16 years he would serve the citizens of his community with bravery and compassion. The story of Lieutenant Sullivan’s career is filled with acts of courage and heroism. In one incident after entering a store during an armed robbery attempt, he negotiated the release the shop owner, and was then abducted and held hostage for hours in the trunk of a car. He witnessed a murder and pursued the felon down a busy New York street, capturing the killer after a fierce gun battle. Sullivan, however, takes the greatest pride in having helped the citizens on his beat with a myriad of mundane, everyday problems. He was awarded seven meritorious service medals, nine medals for exceptional police work, a medal of commendation, an exceptional merit medal and two unit citations. He is also a member of the prestigious New York City Police Department Honor Legion. Even after having received all the awards and commendations Dennis Sullivan insists, “I was just doing my job.”

In 1985, Lieutenant Sullivan was medically retired from the NYPD. Refusing to let a physical disability stop him from helping others, Dennis received his certification as an Alcohol and Substance Abuse counselor, and as such continued to make an important difference in the lives of so many for the next six years. In March 1991 he joined the United States Mint Police where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant.

Lieutenant Sullivan won the respect and admiration of police officers across the country, when he took the lead in the marketing of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Commemorative Coin. For their creativity in spearheading a program that resulted in $1.4 million in surcharges being earmarked for the long-term maintenance fund of the Memorial, Lieutenant Sullivan and his team received the distinguished Special Service Award from the Secretary of the Treasury in May 1999.

Never before had the United States Mint issued a coin celebrating the law enforcement community, and Lieutenant Sullivan rallied his troops to ensure that every police officer across this nation knew about the coin. His enthusiasm coupled with his extraordinary sense of humor made his commitment to the project infectious. “Working with Dennis Sullivan has been an education and a pleasure,” says Tom Wohlrab, U.S. Mint Security Specialist. “A former New York street cop who never forgot what the streets are like, Dennis is compassionate and understanding, but he’s no pushover. He gave us the tools and skills and allowed us to do our jobs, and if the going got rough, he took charge to ensure our success. With Dennis, it was never supervisor to subordinate, we were always a team.”

“Lieutenant Sullivan is a true hero,” says Dr. William Daddio, Director of Security for the U.S. Mint. “He was a hero as a soldier, he was a hero as a NYPD police officer, and he is a hero to the U.S. Mint Police. He is an unselfish and effective champion of the Law Enforcement Memorial, and his life exemplifies the fallen heroes the Memorial honors.”