Dempsey has been recognized for his dedicated public service and leadership by the Massachusetts Municipal Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Extended Care Federation. In addition, in 2000 he received the prestigious AMVETS Pilgrim Award for his work in the legislature.
Dempsey remains active in his home community of Haverhill, where he was born and raised and lives with his wife and their three children. He has served on the board of the Glynn Memorial Nursing Home, the Haverhill Boys & Girls Club, the Foster Kids of the Merrimack Valley and the Haverhill YMCA. He has taken the lead on securing more than $7 million in state aid for the city, working to help offset the debt incurred by Haverhill’s sale of the old Hale Hospital.