Waterford cop who lost father, house and dog gets community support

Waterford — A local police officer is getting by with a little help from his friends after his father died in October and a fire destroyed his house on Thanksgiving.

James Dimmock, a Waterford police sergeant who trains K-9 officers for the department, was at work on Nov. 24 when he got a phone call saying his house was on fire, according to Ken Hochstetler, the owner of the New London restaurant Kamp Dog and a friend of the family.

Dimmock and his two daughters weren’t at home when the fire started, but their dog Tess was, and the black German shepherd died in the fire.

Brittany Nichols, who was a classmate of Dimmock’s daughters at Waterford High School and was also an employee at Kamp Dog, said she set up an online fundraiser for the family as soon as she saw the news.

“I was heartbroken,” she said. As of Sunday, the fundraiser had generated more than $2,000 in donations.

Dimmock went to work for the Waterford police department in the footsteps of his father, Donald, who worked for decades as a Waterford officer and firefighter.

Donald Dimmock, a regular customer at Kamp Dog with his wife Virginia, died in October. His obituary said that in addition to his wife, he left behind five children, including James.

A post on the Waterford Police Department’s Facebook page said the elder Dimmock helped create and run the department’s accident investigation team, served as the department’s court officer and was a member of the Goshen Fire Department and a lieutenant commander of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Power Squadron.

Hochstetler said the elder Dimmock would come into Kamp Dog for lunch every Thursday and Saturday, and the two would joke about his order of a root beer float despite the restaurant’s rules against ordering things that aren’t on the menu.

Hochstetler is also collecting donations for James Dimmock and his daughters at the counter at Kamp Dog. Dimmock is staying with family members, Hochstetler said, but he said he hopes a little extra money will help the family have a happier holiday season.

“He was like, you know you don’t have to do this, we’ll get through,” Hochstetler said. “I’m just hoping it gives them a merry Christmas.”

 m.shanahan@theday.com

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