Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer George R. Kempen

Nassau County Police Department, New York

End of Watch Sunday, November 14, 1976

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Reflections for Police Officer George R. Kempen

Here it is 47 years later and I vividly recall that evening lifting George off the pavement by his uniform coat and seeing his eyes roll back. With the help of a couple officers on the scene we shoved him into the backseat of a Patrol car and rushed him to the hospital where they were unable to save him.He was such a big man I remember folding his legs up and slamming the door on his legs that I had to fold up.As I previously written my partner now deceased ,Bruce Backer and myself would routinely stop by his home ( on the same street where he was killed) and check on the welfare of his wife Bernice and son .November 14th a sad day.

Detective James Ron Petty
Nassau County Police Department

November 14, 2023

Here it is 46 years later and the tragedy that occurred on that 4-12 shift sunday night is still as clear to me as though it happened yesterday.A few who were present at the scene have since passed away but a couple of us fellow officers still remember and bow our heads .Retired Det.James (Ron) Petty 1st Pct.

Detective James R.Petty Sh.527 First Sq.
Nassau County Police Department

November 14, 2022

I worked with George as a partner in CPU for quite some time. I had taken the night off the night of the incident. I also knew his father quite well who worked in the Bomb Squad. George was a great officer and we all miss him! May he rest in peace....Godspeed George.

Leonard H. Miller
Nassau County Detective (Ret) and Captain Ulster County Sheriff's

November 14, 2022

I live on Meadowbrook Rd in Merrick which is renamed after PO George Kempen. I didn’t know the story behind his passing but thank you for the interesting information. God bless PO Kempen and his family.

Detective James Bodnar

May 21, 2022

...I worked with George in th First Pct, but was off when this tragedy happened. George was doubled up with now deceased PO Bill Lysaght, because his regular RMP was down for mechanical repair. Bill was driving, and George was in th passenger seat. Ironically, had it been the other way around, Bill, who was about 5'9" tall would have had the round pass about 6 " over his head, as George was much taller and caught the round in his collarbone, a shard of which then severed a major artery. It was said that had this same wound happened inside the best hospital OR, with a team of the best surgeons standing by, they would not have been able to save George! RIP George, I was among the young Cops who admired and looked up to you, literally and figuratively! You were a man's man.

Retired Lt. Jim Bresnahan

February 7, 2022

In addition to my reflection from a few years ago never was it mentioned that he was killed on the very same road but about a mile north of his home.I later spoke to his wife Bernice and she said she heard the sirens that night and got a chill up her spine sensing that something tragic had happened. She was right.George also had a young son .I made it my business to check in on his wife for years with my partner when we were on patrol in the town next to her. Ron Petty- retired NCPD

Det.J Ron Petty
Nassau County Police Department

November 14, 2021

Rest in peace Officer Kempen.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

October 13, 2021

I was George’s relief that fateful night! Rest easy my friend!

Try/ Detective Walter Swenson

November 20, 2020

I was working with my now deceased partner Bruce Backer in RMP 111 when we responded to pursuit from the L.I.State Pkwy Police into Merrick.When we arrived at the scene of arrest while running toward the arrestee I heard the gunshot and within seconds saw George on the ground behind me.Thinking he was pulling another subject out from under a car I immediately dove to the ground to help him.It was then I realized that he was shot.Along with the help of other officers at the scene we put him in the back seat of a patrol car where he was rushed to NCMC where he was pronounced dead.I can still see his face as I pulled him up from the pavement.Retired Det.Ron Petty.

Detective James R.Petty
Nassau County Police Department

November 14, 2020

I was George’s relief that fateful night! Rest easy my friend!

Ret/ Det Walter Swenson

November 14, 2020

I remember this incident well as I was working a day shift in HPB when P.O. Kempen was shot. Rushed to NCMC hospital to donate blood. Sad day for all. Rest in peace brother.

PO Richard G Winwood

November 14, 2020

I also worked in CPU with George as a partner for a while. George was a stand up guy and was loyal, dedicated and a professional COP.

Godspeed George. Miss you!

Lenny Miller

Leonard Miller Det. Ret, Captain, Ret.
Nassau County PD and Ulster County Sheriff's Dept

November 14, 2020

Worked with George in what was then known as "CPU"...Always enjoyed his company. Rest in Peace.

Ret, DET. Bob Niven
Nassau County NY, PD

November 15, 2019

I worked with George in “CPU” ,always enjoyed his company. Taken much to soon. Rest In Peace.

Ref. Det. Bob Niven,
Nassau County NY, PD

November 15, 2019

I worked with George in the Fifth Pct before he transferred to the First Pct
He was a great guy and always there when you needed him ---- just as he was the night he was shot.

RIP Brother, you will not be forgotten

Ralph Giardina, Ret. Capt.
Nassau County Police Department

November 14, 2019

RIP Blue Angel and thank-you for your service.

Patrolman Donald Church Sh.1215 (Ret)
Nassau County Fifth precinct.

November 14, 2018

I worked with George in the First Pct he was a nice and well respected guy. To a rookie like me he was an “Old Timer”. His picture reminds me how young his life was when died.....Kenny Olsen

PO Kenny Olsen
NCPD ret

November 14, 2018

May he Rest In peace

Retired Detective Sergeant
Nassau County Police Dept

November 14, 2018

I was assigned to ESB (now ESU) when this happened. I responded from Headquarters . Upon arrival I heard the first rumor of event. I will never forget the emotional feelings that flooded over me. Rest in Peace George.....

R/Det. John Daly
NCPD 1st Sqd.

November 14, 2018

Rest In Peace Brother. We honor and remember you on the 41st anniversary of your E.O.W. Thank you and your family for your service and sacrifice.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

November 14, 2017

I was the first to pickup George when he got shot. Retired P.O. /Det James R.Petty driving car 111 with my now deceased partner PO Bruce Backer. I can never get over it.

james r petty

November 14, 2016

I knew George and was working the day this incident happened. A shock to all our members. May he rest in peace. God Bless.

DetectiveJohn LaBarbera

November 14, 2016

I remember this day always. I was a friend of Officer Kempens son, also George - we were in the fourth grade together at Old Mill Road School in Merrick. They came and took George from school that day and I never saw him again. I hope he has done well and wish him and his family all the best.

Mike Cusack

Mike Cusack, Civilian
Friend of family

November 3, 2016


Sgt. Jimmy Cash (ret)

November 14, 2015

I said a little prayer today for Police Officer Kempen and his family. He may be gone but never forgotten. He will always be a New York HERO.

Robyn Wilkes

November 10, 2015

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