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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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Comments () | Archives (7)

Very touching and appropriate action by the city of Los Angeles. This action memorializes a man that gave so much to this city and our community as a whole.

Thanks for reporting the honoring of this tremendous man who personified the meaning of the term "public servant"!! May the community be constantly reminded of his sacrifice...

@@ I am sorry ... but the widespread practice of roads, freeways, interchanges, and other public places (like parks)with the names of law enforcement personnel is a poor idea.

@@ While this is a very popular idea and practice now in California and has nearly overrun all freeways in the state ... it is clear that we will soon run out things and places to name in honor of the law enforcement dead. What then? Rename the sites for the most recently fallen officer?

@@ It also sends a message to the public that no one but law enforcement personnel ever do anything to deserve praise ... why not honor teachers, social workers, garbage collectors, custodians?

@@ This is no denegration law enforcement personnel, most serve ably and bravely and make many personal sacrifices. But so do thousands upon thousands of others in our society and some also risk their lives (military, fire, etc.) but they are ignored.

I watched this police officer's memorial on tv. It was very sad, but they played the theme song to the old show "SWAT" to begin the service and I thought that was awesome. R.I.P.

They are probably honoring police officers because that's the only profession which you are required to wear a bullet proof vest and carry a variety of firearms just to do their job...So when they'r doing their dangerous job (entering a building with a triple murder suspect who is armed and waiting for you... And then getting gunned down (murdered)...

Renaming these parks and streets is more than appropriate...

"why not honor teachers, social workers, garbage collectors, custodians?" because they're not required to dangerous things and then die doing it...

I think Rob is just a little disgruntled because his marijuana stores are getting shut down and he's probably still on probation for his latest DUI...Hang in there Rob...

Well Rob, if a garbage collector was killed trying to save the life of a fellow garbage collector or hostage (as was the case with Randy Simmons) then he/she might be honored in this way as well. Police officers and firefighters are not better than other public servents, but due to the inherent dangers of these two particular lines of work we need to remember these altruistic sacrifices made. "For those who fight for it life has a special flavor the protected never know."

A lot of what you posted is true Rob. I think in this case, it is a very nice gesture to name a park in Officer Simmons memory. It is good for his family.


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