BELMONT — The Irish American Police Officers Association (IAPOA) is pleased to announce that a Newton Police Department officer was awarded the IAPOA Medal of Valor for courageously placing himself in danger as he interrupted an armed robbery while off-duty and made an arrest.
On Oct. 20, IAPOA Vice President David Collins, Treasurer Danielle Nicolo, and Past Vice President Paul Upton traveled to the Newton Police Department to present the award to Lt. David Tempesta.
On Dec. 3, 2019, Lt. Tempesta was off-duty and on his way to work in full uniform when he observed an armed robbery in progress at a local convenience store he stopped into.
Lt. Tempesta noticed a commotion at the front of the store and saw a suspect brandishing a knife while demanding money from a store employee.
Lt. Tempesta drew his department-issued firearm and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon, but as Lt. Tempesta drew closer, the suspect attempted to flee the store.
Lt. Tempesta holstered his firearm and engaged the suspect in a violent, physical struggle that resulted in Lt. Tempesta ultimately disarming the suspect and placing him into custody.
The incident was captured on store surveillance video and was broadcast locally and regionally by news stations and on the Internet.
“Lt. Tempesta’s quick reaction, courage, and professionalism helped prevent a violent robbery and led to a quick resolution in a dangerous situation,” said Vice President Collins. “We are pleased to present the lieutenant with the IAPOA’s Medal of Valor.”
The IAPOA usually holds an annual awards dinner for all honorees, but has been unable to do so for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year the IAPOA is recognizing honorees by traveling to meet them and present the awards individually. The IAPOA is hopeful they will be able to host an in-person dinner and awards ceremony again next year.
Individuals and organizations can be nominated for awards in six categories:
- Meritorious Service
- Community Service
- Humanitarian Acts
The IAPOA also recognizes the sacrifice made in line-of-duty deaths with a Medal of Honor presented posthumously to the families of fallen officers.
The IAPOA is a designated 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For further information or to become a member, please visit www.irishamericanpolice.org.