MiamiHerald / Let us pause to note the recent passing of two gentlemen who made a positive difference in our community.

When I returned from military service in Vietnam, I was fortunate to work with Bob Dempsey at the then Metro-Dade Public Safety Department. We were hired during the summer of 1972, and in due course created a professional partnership that benefited South Florida’s law enforcement.

We collaborated on creating the first police department in the United States to “validate” its hiring and promotion criteria, which eventually lead to the introduction of more women and minorities in the workforce. We implemented affirmative action programs, and negotiated early versions of collective bargaining agreements under the newly enacted Florida public sector law. Bob was a fearless partner in setting a new course for police personnel administration.

John Pennekamp was a West Point graduate and an Air Force veteran. He was well-recognized for his unquestioned ethical character, respected for his role in the banking industry, and a leader in many civic groups.

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