Officer Randal David Simmons, a 27-year veteran of the LAPD, was murdered in the line of duty on Thursday, February 7, 2008. Officer Simmons became the first LAPD SWAT officer to die in the line of duty.
Officer Simmons graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy on January 26, 1981. He began his first assignment on May 17, 1981 in Pacific Area, then went to 77th Street Division on July 25, 1982. He began his assignment in South Bureau on May 1, 1983, and returned to 77th Street Division on March 4, 1984. On August 19, 1984, he transferred to Southeast Division and began at Metropolitan Division on July 20, 1986. On January 3, 1991, he was selected to join SWAT, the Department’s elite unit. On December 25, 1994, he promoted to Assistant Squad Leader in SWAT (PIII+1).
Officer Simmons was born on July 22, 1956, in San Bernardino, CA, attended Washington State University where he studied criminology. He played cornerback on the school’s football team. Hoping to play professional football, Officer Simmons attended training camp with the Dallas Cowboys, and played in a few pre-season games until he sustained an injury, where he decided to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Officer Simmons’ Christian faith was a strong central part of his character. He was the minister at Glory Christian Fellowship International Church (GCFI) for 13 years. Known to his congregation as Minister Randy, he was seen as a humble and totally selfless individual that shared the unconditional love of Christ with all people he met, especially children and young adults. His tireless commitment to the youth has been recognized throughout the state with numerous awards he has received.
As minister, Officer Simmons was the head of evangelism for 11 years with a focus on weekly children’s outreach, Glory Kids, to seven housing developments located throughout South Los Angeles, Watts, Carson, Compton, and Long Beach.
For the past 9 years, Officer Simmons led and completed many major outreach projects at to include the “Greatest Toy Giveaway,” that in 2007 provided gifts to more than 1,200 children and their parents.
For the past 11 years, Officer Simmons spearheaded the GCFI “Hallelujah Harvest Festival,” a carnival featuring rides, games, and ministry to more than 1,500 children and young adults.
Officer Simmons also served as senior facilitator for the GCFI Men’s Fellowship Program, “Breaking the Huddle,” where members counsel and mentor one another.