OCTOBER 17, 2009 – In the early morning hours, hundreds of runners gathered at the Los Angeles Police Academy in Elysian Park for the second running of the Randy Simmons 5K Challenge.  The program commenced with the widow of the late Officer Simmons, Lisa Simmons, offering her sincere gratitude for everyone’s participation and willingness to keep his memory alive.

 

With the sound of the gun the runners began what would be a 3.1 mile trek through the hills behind Dodger Stadium.  Runners consisted of family members and former co-workers of Randy, Department employees, Sheriff and Fire Department employees and civilians.  Some of the participants ran in “platoon” formation and carried their unit flag.

 

The race concluded on the Police Academy athletic field where runner’s times were recorded and their photo was taken.  The top three runners from each category were awarded medals for their performance.  Many of the participants took the time to meet with the Simmons family members in attendance.  With a noticeably larger turnout for this event then last year, the memory of Officer Simmons is sure to live on for years to come.

 

All the proceeds raised from the event will benefit the Randal Simmons Foundation.  The Randall Simmons Foundation is a faith based non-profit organization dedicating to continuing the legacy of Officer Randal Simmons through empowering and encouraging families in underserved areas.

 

To view additional photos from the event, please visit the LAPD Sports Page.

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Personnel assigned to the West Valley Area Community Police Station and many other members of the LAPD family throughout the City, payed tribute to officers who were killed in the line of duty. A granite and bronze memorial monument was unveiled revealing the names of four officers: Motor Officer II +2 Martin Parker ; Detective II Thomas C. Williams; Motor Officer II +2 Randol L. Marshall and SWAT Officer III+1 Randal D. Simmons. Reseda, CA 2/6/2009. Photo by John McCoy/staff photographer

 

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — He is a captain on the Bishop Montgomery Football team — you have probably heard of Matthew Simmons’s father, Randal.

Randy Simmons was the squad leader and is the only Los Angeles police officer killed during a SWAT operation.

“I miss a lot of things about my dad,” Simmons said. “Just him being there for me, we talked a lot in the car and I always miss him telling me things about God, and how God works and the reasons why we’re on this earth.”

You don’t have to look very far to see Matthew has a God-given gift to play football. The sport connected Matthew with his father, just as a uniform and gun connects a police officer to the community.

“I have limited knowledge about the details, intricate details about football,” Matthew’s mother Lisa said. “I try to play dad by sitting here with Matthew and watching football with him, and he goes ‘Mom this is defense, not offense.'”

Lisa Simmons says that a letter Randy wrote to Matthew on the day that he died may have been a premonition of what was to come.

“The day Randy died Matthew was upstairs and was reading this letter,” Lisa Simmons said. “And I said ‘Matt, what are you reading?’ Tears were just pouring out of his eyes and I said, ‘What are you reading?’ and he showed me the letter and I was just shaking all over.”

The letter said: “Things to do to make it to college.”

The letter included workouts that Randy used to become a Division 1 football player at Washington State University.

“It just talked about all this stuff about football, like what he really wanted me to do,” Simmons said. “What he was saying, seemed like he was about to go away really soon.”

The letter ended saying that Randy would always be there for Matthew and that he loved him very much.

Matthew was just 15 years old when his father died. The tragedy and shock could have forced him away from football, but instead it fueled his passion.

Matthew changed his number to 17 in honor of his father.

Washington State has retired Randal Simmons’s jersey number — and they will be getting his son in the fall.

“I know my dad would be proud of me,” Matthew said. “I just feel bad sometimes because he’s not there to congratulate me.”

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