Reseda park to be renamed in honor of slain SWAT Officer Randal Simmons
A Reseda park will be renamed today in honor of the first Los Angeles police SWAT officer to die in the line of duty.
At an 11 a.m. ceremony, Councilman Dennis Zine, a former L.A. police officer, will officially re-christen West Valley Park at Vanowen Street and Wilbur Avenue as Randal D. Simmons Park.
A member of the Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team, Simmons was fatally shot in the neck in February 2008 in Winnetka while trying to persuade a 20-year-old gunman who had killed his father and two brothers to surrender.
The 20-year SWAT veteran was 51. The devout Christian was described as "the rock" of the elite tactical team, the first of its kind in the United States.
Simmons was the first officer killed in the pioneering unit's four decades. About 10,000 people, most of them law enforcement officers, attended Simmons' funeral.
"Everybody is going to be pleased because it continues his legacy of community service and community advocacy," said Jane Kolb, a spokeswoman for the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks.
-- Amina Khan
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