To Serve and Protect – Officer Randall Simmons

He was a giant, both physically and spiritually – perhaps moreso spiritually. His name was Randal Simmons, he was a 27 year veteran of the Los Angeles SWAT team and the first member in its 40 year history to ever be killed. Ten thousand people attended his funeral yesterday, officers from as far away as Australia attended. Gang members, old classmate, politicians, strangers – they all went to honor this man. Why?

Because not only was he excellent at his job he was an excellent human being. He gave to the community, not just as a police officer, sworn to serve and protect – but as a youth minister. He affected hundreds of lives and helped countless youths to get off the fast track to hell and ruination and onto the path of a better life. The day of his death, and for days afterward, there were countless radio broadcasts on talk radio where people who knew him and especially young people whom he had helped called in. The calls would have broken your heart. This was a man who quietly went about his life. He put on his uniform and gun every day and headed out to the mean streets of L.A. but he went out there with an open heart and hand. His goal was to help. And he did.

I know that we all like to complain about cops. When we see them behind us in traffic, our paranoia kicks in and we drive extra careful. When they catch us not quite stopping at the stop sign, we curse under our breath and smile as we sign the copy of the ticket. Then go home and bitch and moan about it to our friends, spouse, family. And we never stop to think about the fact that these men and women literally take their lives in their hands every day for our benefit. To protect us. To keep us safe. We never stop to thank them or wish them a good day. We just take for granted that when something terrible happens they will come to our rescue.

And on that day, Randal Simmons did. A man was holding his family hostage – he had literally lost his mind and had already killed three members of his family. But Officer Simmons and his comrades went anyway. They went to help anyone who might still be alive, they went so that the man wouldn’t kill another human being. Unfortunately, he did kill one more – Randall Simmons. A man who so deserved to live moreso than many others still walking around and enjoying their lives. A man who truly did good in the world. Who cared about the world he lived in and tried to make it a better place, one person at a time.

Angels open arms
rise to their holy welcome

your spirit is home

Rest in peace, Officer Simmons. Thank you for being here and for all that you did for your fellow man. Bless your family.

If you would like to help his family, click here. To read more about this incredible man, click here.

20 thoughts on “To Serve and Protect – Officer Randall Simmons

  1. Officer Simmons, well done good and faithful servant.

    Great post. Many thanks for recognizing what most people don’t.

    Oh Free,
    If you could have heard the stories that people told about him. It really would have broken your heart. This man was one in a million and his family’s loss is a loss for us all.


  2. Oh, Annie, i am so glad that you posted this.
    My mom and i were talking about Officer Simmons for a long time last night.
    i know that there is corruption everywhere, but there are those individuals whose hearts are pure and who walk in integrity that fall by the wayside as we tend to focus on the negative.

    Randall Simmons was a good man.

    This tribute is moving and thoughtful.
    My prayers are with his family and the community he served.

    Good, good work, Chica.

    I actually wondered if you might have known him – it seemed so many people did. He was an amazing man and it’s a terrible shame we didn’t know until he was gone. But he has left behind a wonderful legacy and for that we should all be truly thankful.


  3. Wow. I too find myself forgetting that the being behind the uniform is a human at times. What a respectful and fitting post that gives due homage to such a giving man. Nice job, Annie! Sorry to see we’ve lost another good one from this rock.

    Hey Teens,
    I’m as unmindful of it as anyone. I never really stop to think about it – until now But really, aren’t the police tantamount to our troops? They swear an oath to protect society – and do daily what is a difficult, dangerous and thankless job. I guess we need to stop and think about it sometimes, eh?


  4. Nice tribute, WC. I’ve always thought our police and firefighters are the bravest, most unappreciated men and women in America.

    Hey 30!
    I agree, I think our firefighters and police are the best. In fact, I believe that our firefighters are renowned country-wide for their expertise. When you consider that there are only about 3,000 cops in LAPD in a city of millions, you really do have to be in awe, don’t you?


  5. oh you are welcome how are you?????????? I have cancer….so that is why i am not getting my butt over here often anymore so dont think i am IGNoring you πŸ˜›

    Well, you take care of yourself honey.


  6. Beautiful tribute to a great man WC.

    Thank you for reminding us that we tend to lump people in a pot and stir them together as one and the same when the right way is to do as he did, one person at a time. What a legacy he has left, he truly made a difference in this world.

    I had no idea there were only 3,000 cops in LA. How do they do it with such a population?
    Thanks for the enlightenment.


    Hey Ange,
    Yes, there really aren’t very many cops in L.A. but they get the job done. Randall Simmons will be sorely missed by the whole city.


  7. Having been a policeman, many years ago, I understand the sacrifice he made, and why he put himself in that position. My deepest and sincerest condolences for his family, friends, loved ones, colleagues and contemporaries, they are the one’s who are pain now.
    Officer Simmons is at peace.

    Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? – William J. Bennett – in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

    Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs.

    Hey N2L,
    Well, thank you for your service – and you’re right, his family is in pain now and I hope they find the strength they need to get through this.

    Wonderful quote – I love Bill Bennett – brilliant man.


  8. What a tragedy. The whole occupation freaks me out. A police officer will pull someone over anytime, night or day – – and never know what they are getting themselves into. They can be at high risk pulling someone over for a broken tail light in mid-day or in danger walking into a hostage situation. I don’t know how they do it and they certainly do not get paid enough! A baseball player can get millions for throwing a ball, but an officer is never compensated for risking their LIFE. Their precious LIFE. Often times leaving behind a family who needs support. I know police officers are probably much like firemen in the fact that they are “brothers” and offer emotional support to the families but so sad when the officer was a sole provider for their family. Does that make sense? In so many instances in life, things seem arse backwards. Ball players should be getting minimum wage. The officers should be getting paid accordingly and getting endorsement deals because they are true heroes, people to look up to and can aspire to be – good examples for our children, etc. In a perfect world Annie.

    You’re right Bella,
    In a perfect world. But I think that fireman, police officers, soldiers, teachers, etc. don’t do it for the money – they do it because they want to help and that is paramount in their purpose, the money doesn’t seem to matter. Just like celebrities make a lot of money while the rest of us do our best, eh?


  9. Loyalty above all except honor.

    Officer Simmons served with the best as one of the best and I think you have written a simply magnificent tribute befitting the man he was.

    Wearing the uniform is never about money, it’s a calling and despite all the bad press, when you need help they are still the people that will come no matter what.


    Hi Paul!
    Yes, he was the best of the best. And I think, by and large that could be said about most of our police officers. Despite the bad press and the predisposition of writers to demonize them (among others) πŸ˜‰


  10. WC, I encourage you and your readers to click on the hyperlink at the bottom of my post, “Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs.” It is a very enlightening article, and Dave Grossman speaks to Law Enforcement agencies all over the country.

    Hey N2L,
    Thanks for the link – I can see that some of my readers have already looked it over and I shall too.


  11. WC, you are more than welcome, and thank you for bringing is this story of a wonderful man who gave all he had, and will be missed by many.
    God Bless Him and his family.

    I was happy to write about this fine man – sad that he is no longer with us.


  12. That is heartwrenching. Truly a remarkable soul. I agree with you that there are many good souls out there that we never hear about until tragedy strikes. I would love to turn on the news one morning and there be nothing but positive stories. Stories about real Americans helping other Americans. The greater good stuff.
    A–I can tell this story touched you. And you told it in a way that was touching and respectful, truly honoring Mr. Simmons and the work that he did.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

    Hey Kim,
    It really did touch me – I feel so much for his family – the whole city grieves their loss.


  13. Just wanted to give you a shout out and letchya know I’m thinkin of ya!

    Kinda waitin on a new thread too…. πŸ˜‰ *twiddling thumbs*

    Hey Free,
    Sorry, but I have a gig tomorrow, so I don’t know if I’ll get a new post up – I have one in the works, but you’ll have to be patient. πŸ˜‰


  14. Very true words about us not appreciating the men and women who serve and protect.

    My dad keeps $5 Starbucks cards handy, and whenever he sees a cop on break or not busy, he thanks them for their service and gives them a card.

    Practical, inexpensive, so little compared to the volume of their service.

    Thanks for bringing this up WC.

    Wow Matt,
    What a great idea your dad has. I really like that. That is great.


  15. That’s ok – you gots portant stuffs happenin!

    Sending good thoughts your way.

    As promised, I watched enough MSNBC last night for the both of us. πŸ˜‰

    Well, I put up something for you to read, but you probably won’t like it. But…it’s up. πŸ™‚


  16. what a sad sad story. Thank you for sharing. it was very touching. a nice tribute.

    Hey Reggie!
    From all accounts, he was an amazing man. The kind who makes you feel that there is real goodness in the world.


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