Suspects Arrested in Statue Thefts
Notes from the February 19, 2008 Police Commission Meeting

Officer Randal Simmons Eulogy

Eulogy given by Chief William Bratton for Officer Randal Simmons on February 15, 2008.

I Want To Talk Briefly With You About My Impressions Of Randy Simmons And About A Life Well Led.

Many Of Us In This Church Are Privileged To Wear The Badge That Identifies Us As Police Officers Or Firefighters. Ninety Six Hundred Los Angeles Police Officers Like Randy Wear A Badge That Is Probably The Most Well Known And Recognized In The World. And Like Randy, We Wear It With Pride.

We Are Privileged Because Our Society Has Placed In Our Hands A Sacred Trust – Every Day When We Pin Our Badge On Our Chest And Go Out Into The Streets Of Our City, We Are Given The Opportunity To Do Good Against Evil – To Make A Positive Difference In The Lives Of Everyone Who Lives, Works Or Visits Our Communities. We Get To Protect And To Serve. Randy Simmons, Los Angeles Police Officer, Badge 8579, For 27 Years, Was The Living Embodiment Of That Motto. He Understood That When He Began His Policing Career On Elysian Field Those Many Years Ago That He Had Been Given The Opportunity To Make A Difference. To Make His Life As A Cop Count For Something – And He Has Succeeded, Far Beyond Even His Own Dreams And Expectations – The Thousands Of You Gathered Here Today Are The Living Proof And Recognition Of That Success.

Randy, In Particular, Because Of His Assignment To The Fabled Lapd Swat Unit, Understood The Special Obligation And Life-Threatening Risks That Are Required At Any Moment Of Any Police Officer Or Firefighter—To Run Toward Danger, Never From It, Even As We Move The Weak, The Impaired And The Innocent Away From That Danger.

During His Career With His Beloved Swat, He Went Toward Those Dangers, Through Those Doors Into The Unknown That Awaited Him And His Fellow Officers, Hundreds, If Not Thousands Of Times, But He Would Be The First To Tell You That Because Of His Deep Religious Faith And Convictions, And His Continual Thriving To Be In A Constant State Of Grace With His God, He Went Through Those Doors, Into The Valley Of Death, Fearing No Evil For He Knew That His God Was With Him And If It Was To Be His Time, Then To Lie Beside The Still Waters In The Heaven That He So Deeply Believed In. He Would Be Ready To Stand Proudly At The Doors To Heaven, Knowing, For The First Time, What Lay Beyond Those Doors. As His Loving Wife Lisa Told Me – He Would Be In A Place Where There Was No Pain And Where The Streets Would Be Paved With Gold. He Has Truly Gone Home. His Life’s Journey As A Husband, Father, Humanitarian, Minister And Cop, At An End. He Is In The Place He Was Always Meant To Be And He Will Wait For Us There To Meet Him Again. And If There Is Any Delay In Opening Those Doors, He Can Always Employ The Battering Ram That He Was So Skilled At Using In Swat.

To The Swat Officers Who Were In The Thick With Him In The Early Morning Hours Of Thursday, February 7th,
Dave Keorgte
Tom Chinappi
Jim Veenstra
German Hurtado
Floyd Curry
Tony Samuelson
Mike Barker
Michael Odle
George Ryan
Steve Scallon
Chuck Buttitta

And To The Many Other Members Of Swat Who He Loved And Who Loved And Respected Him, Console Yourself That “The Rock” Spent His Last Moments In The Company Of You, His Police Family. He Understood And Appreciated Your Desperate Efforts To Save Him And Keep Him With Us, But This Time The Pull Of His God To Bring Him Home Was Just Too Compelling.

To His Wife Lisa, His Son Matthew, His Daughter Gabrielle, And His Mother Constance, As Well As To All His Family Members, On Behalf Of The Men And Women Of The Lapd Who I Proudly Speak For This Morning, Thank You, Thank You For Sharing Him With Us, All Those Countless Days And Nights When He Was Away From You. Lisa, Thank You For Sharing Your “Ultimate” Man With Us. Matthew And Gabrielle, Try Hard To Always Honor Your Father’s Memory.

And To The Community That He Protected And Served, It Is Said “No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help A Child.”

Well, If That’s The Case, Then Randy Was Truly A Giant. His Love For Children, Particularly Disadvantaged Children, His “Glory Kids” Knew No Bounds. As Lisa Told Mayor Villaraigosa And Me, “No Man Ever Brought So Many Children To God.” That Was His True Passion In Life.

Swat Commander Mike Albanese Told Me This Little Story That I Think Says It All.

Community Involvement
Randy’s Commitment And Dedication To The Community Was Unmatched. He Was Constantly Working In The Community To Help And Encourage Those People Who Were Truly Disadvantaged. He Was Unselfish With His Time And His Money. He Used His Personal Time (Days Off – Overtime Days) To Try To Improve Many Lives With His Presence. This Was A Man Who Worked In Challenging Areas To Reach Out To As Many People As He Could. He Impacted So Many Lives. Trips To The Movies, Beach, Parks, Skate Parks, And Zoo. All Of The Places A Young Person Would Want To Visit. Randy Knew That Many Of These Kids Would Never See/Experience These Places If He Or Someone Else Did Not Take The Lead.

He Worked Quietly During His Outreach With The Community. Some Of His Peers Did Not Realize The Depth And Breadth Of His Work In The Community. One Example Was When He Asked One Of Our Swat Officers If He Would Consider Letting Some Of The Kids Come Out To His Horse Ranch And Ride His Horses. Metro Officers Steve And Mary Grace Weaver Welcomed The Opportunity To Share Their Time And Horses With The Kids - A Great Opportunity For Everyone. Randy Was A Little Vague As To How Many Kids He Was Bringing Out To Their Home. As Mary Grace Weaver Describes It, A Large Chartered Bus Shows Up At The House With Over Sixty Kids On The Bus. None Of These Kids Had Ever Been Around Horses And Through Randy’s Persistence – Steve And Mary’s Hospitality, Over Sixty Kids Rode Horses And Enjoyed A Barbeque.

In Closing, Let Me Read To You The Following Prayer I Think Randy Would Have Liked.
To Those I Love And Those Who Love Me

When I Am Gone Release Me. Let Me Go – I Have So Many Things To See And Do. You Must Not Tie Yourself To Me With Tears. Be Thankful For Our Many Beautiful Years. I Gave To You My Love. You Can Only Guess How Much You Gave To Me In Happiness. I Thank You For The Love We Each Have Shown But Now It’s Time I Traveled On Alone. So Grieve A While For Me, If Grieve You Must. Then Let Your Grief Be Comforted By Trust. It’s Only For A Time That We Must Part So Bless The Memories Within Your Heart. I Won’t Be Far Away, For Life Goes On. So If You Need Me, Call And I Will Come. Though You Can’t See Or Touch Me, I’ll Be Near. And If You Listen With Your Heart, You’ll Hear All My Love Around You Soft And Clear.
And Then When You Must Come This Way Alone, I’ll Greet You With A Smile, And Say…Welcome Home!

Comments

A suggestion for the future -- don't post stories all in caps. It's nearly impossible for many people to read.

They left out the part when former Chief Gates received a one minute standing ovation.

Bratton stood on the stage like he was a man without a country, a stranger in a strange land.

The audience sent a resounding message to Bratton that he'll never be "one of the boys," nor will he ever be cherished like Gates was.

I think it was a matter of, "right message-wrong venue."

The ovation should have been saved for Veenstra or the Simmons family.

Rest easy Randy, your job here is done.

Nicely played boyo.....

Here's a better suggestion:

Hey, chief, at next year's SWAT dinner, maybe you ought to hang around and get to know the guys. You had one last chance to talk to Randy Simmons, but you walked out instead, didn't you?

In fact, here's an idea: Those passenger seats in South East patrol cars aren't just for P-1s. Your backside will fit in one, too. Yeah, I know, that would be sorta like real police work, and probably kinda scary, too. Heck, you might even have to get your uniform shirt re-sized for a vest! WOW! That's just like being a cop again! You know, a cop. The guys who "count" and who make arrests with those handcuff thingys. The ones without working computers or radios and who rarely get papercuts.

Maybe you could bring your buddy John Mack along. He might benefit from seeing what the other side is like. I mean, he's only been on the Police Commission for 3 years now.

No surprise that he walked out of the SWAT dinner...there probably wasn't enough (or any) media there to make it worth his while to stay. Some of us have seen this on a recurring basis. It could be for a very worthwhile cause (like the Department's own Memorial Foundation), but unless there are dignitaries or media, there is usually only a token (if any) appearance...

Hey TruthSayer, if you want to see Mr. Bratton, I suggest you tune in the Oscars on your TV this weekend. He's always at those glitzy Hollywood events and openings. The man has never met a camera he didn't like. In every issue of Los Angeles magazine, he's on the society page, pictured at this important cocktail party and that critical opening. Maybe now that Johnny Grant has passed away, Mr. Bratton could assume some of his important responsibilities, like unveiling new stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has lots of experience with that sort of thing.

Chief, as to your comment about the "the fabled SWAT unit", there is no "Fables" concerning them...it is a known FACT they are the best at what they do for us and the public.

As for our "most well known and recognized badge in the world"...most of use earned it vs. being presented one. Also, why all the hash marks? Officers who came here from other departments don't wear cumulative stripes to commemorate their total years in law enforcement.

Finally, thank you Randy for giving us pride and for being an excellent example to all police officers as to how to live a faithfull life and love your family. You are one of my heros.

I think in all fairness the Chief should be cut some slack. It is never easy to stand in front of a large group knowing every single word will be disected.

The Chief may not make everyone happy and may not be a "Gates" but he did a fair job at a difficult time.

His speech was respectable and appropriate.

We each have our own opinion but in this case the Chief did a decent job and deserves credit where credit is due. All of us, including the Chief attended Randy's funeral to remember a wonderful man and a great officer. Lets keep it that way.

pdhog,

Regarding the service stripes, when Bratton came here and first appeared in a LAPD uniform, he had numerous service stripes denoting his years of service in law enforcement.

Somebody took him aside and said, "Chief, there is one thing that the men and women of the LAPD cherish and that is their uniform. Service stripes denote years of law enforcement service in California so technically you are out of uniform compliance."

I don't know what the Chief's reply was but about a month later the LAPD manual was changed and now reads that any prior law enforcement experience entitles one to wear the service stripes on the LAPD uniform.

This is known as the Golden Rule. The one with the most gold makes the rules!

Thanks El Tecolote...didn't know that! I could go buy three more stripes now! But, I won't, my current 4 is enough and I don't have to explain why my serial number is at about 20 yrs on but I'm sportin' 35 years of stripes.

Dear Mr. Davis,
I am not an officer with LAPD however, I do not agree with your statement. Mr. Bratton had his career with LAPD handed to him. Bratton if rumor is true had items changed in order to better suit him with in the department. I am a little to young to "know" what exactly Gates added to LAPD but, from everything I have heard he was a great asset to this department. Mr. Bratton knew or should have known that his words would be dissected and that is why he had someone who "knew" Officer Simmons write that speech. The words didn't come from him but from some speech writer, now as to his delivery well given his long line of experience of talking in front of an audience it would be a shame if he could not stand in front of those people and deliver words that were written for him in a manner reflective of Officer Simmons life. I am a wife of an LAPD officer, we have spoken about the what ifs…and he has made it perfectly clear to me that IF something should happen to him Bratton is not to give the eulogy at his services, now he has his own reasons for this but I respect him will abide by his wishes should something happen. I thank god everyday for allowing my husband to come home to me every night. My heart goes out to Mrs. Simmons I do not know her but, if I should ever have to cross the path that she just crossed I can only hope and pray that I do so with the dignity and grace that she did. What my husband does for a living is a thankless job.

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