Monday, February 01, 2010

Renaming of West Valley Park in honor of Officer Randal D. Simmons

Reseda - It has been almost two years since LAPD SWAT Officer Randal D. Simmons died in the line of duty but his heroism and dedication are still making undying influences. On Thursday, January 28, 2010 the Department of Recreation and Parks, in partnership with Councilmember Dennis P. Zine, brought together Officer Simmons' family, friends and colleagues for a special ceremony to remember the fallen hero.

West Valley Park was renamed as LAPD SWAT Officer Randal D. Simmons Park and will serve as a tribute to his personal sacrifice and his community advocacy. A 27-year LAPD veteran, Officer Simmons was shot during a standoff on February 7, 2008 in Winnetka (about a mile away from the community park). He was the first SWAT officer to die in the unit's 40-year history.

Officer Simmons has been described by his colleagues as loyal, selfless, focused, compassionate, brave and inspirational. He committed much of his time to helping and comforting people in urban neighborhoods including Watts, Hacienda Heights, Compton and Carson. He was an ordained minister at Glory Christian Fellowship International. Simmons was instrumental in developing programs and Christian events for at-risk youth such as the annual "Greatest Toy Giveaway" which provided toys and gifts to over 1,000 needy children during the holiday season.

The ceremony included the unveiling of the new park sign and remarks from General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri, former LAPD officer Councilmember Zine, Assistant Chief Micheal Moore, Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese and Captain John Incontro. Officer Simmons' wife Lisa also spoke thanking the City for the honor and added, "I know Randy is looking down and smiling and couldn't be happier because this is a park where children will come and play, families will gather and people will jog. They'll see his name and know he was a great man."

LAPD SWAT Officer Randal D. Simmons Park is located at 6731 Wilbur Avenue in the Reseda community. The 8.38 acre park includes a children's play area, walking paths and picnic tables.
Although he is no longer with us and will be missed, his charitable and giving legacy will live on forever. Officer Simmons is survived by his wife Lisa, son Matthew and daughter Garbrielle.

Jane Kolb: (213) 202-2694
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

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