LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A small Kentucky town just lost its police chief to COVID-19.
Chief Scott Dennis, 62, died early Friday morning several weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. He was the chief of the Bloomfield Police Department.
Dennis died at Flaget Memorial Hospital, where he had been placed on a ventilator several days ago. The fallen chief dedicated the majority of his life to law enforcement. In 1983, Dennis was hired at the Kentucky Department of Corrections, but he spent most of his career with the Vehicle Enforcement Branch of Kentucky State Police. After retiring from KSP, Dennis went to work for the Bloomfield Police Department and was named chief in 2016.
Bloomfield's mayor said this is a devastating loss for the small community.
"We've got a four-way stop going in and out of town. That's basically the size of our city," Mayor Chris Dudgeon said. "So when you see him in his police cruiser ... I mean, you seen him just about every day. Everybody knew him. You'd see him out eating at restaurants, here in town."
Scott Thompson, superintendent of Bloomfield Public Works and the assistant chief of the fire department, said, in a short amount of time, Dennis made a significant impact in the city.
"It was an honor, getting to know him, working with him," Thompson said. "Scott did a lot for Bloomfield. Like I said, he raised the awareness for things going on in the city."
Flags were lowered to half-staff Friday to honor the chief and to thank him for his dedication and service.
"The mayor did a proclamation for the city of Bloomfield to get the flags all over the city lowered," Thompson said.
Dennis is the second Kentuckiana police officer to die from COVID-19, this week. On Wednesday, Charlestown Police Sgt. Tajuan Johnson died from the virus.
Supporting Heroes, a nonprofit that provides immediate financial and emotional support to the families of first responders who have died in the line of duty, said about 130 officers have now died nationwide.
Eric Johnson, executive director of Supporting Heroes, said despite COVID-19, his organization is committed to providing the same level of service to the families of fallen heroes who have given so much to their communities.
"That's what first responders do. They go into harm’s way for other people," Johnson said. "They know the risks to themselves and they go anyway.
"Now, they're also dealing with an invisible killer. They don't know where COVID is, but they still do their jobs."
Johnson said those are a few of the reasons Dennis, Johnson and other first responders should be considered heroes.
"It's also important to recognize that not only are they worried about getting it themselves, but they're also worried about taking it home to their families," he said.
Dennis was Bloomfield's only police officer, so right now, the Nelson County Sheriff's Department is covering the city.
No funeral arrangements have been made yet.
Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.