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82 LAPD officers honored in Purple Heart ceremony

Officer Randall Simmons is one of the officers who was honored Thursday Eighty-two Los Angeles police officers were honored Thursday at a first-ever Purple Heart ceremony held to pay tribute to their acts of heroism and bravery that resulted in injury or death.

The ceremony, hosted by the Los Angeles Police Foundation at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, was attended by hundreds of people, including LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Los Angeles City Council members.

Seventy-two incidents of bravery that occurred over a 90-year period dating back to 1921 were highlighted, according to police officials.

Among the honorees were Det. Arleigh McCree and Officer Ronald Ball, who were killed while attempting to diffuse booby-trapped pipe bombs found in a garage on Feb. 8, 1986.

Officer Tina Kerbrat, was the first female police officer to be killed in the line of duty. She was fatally shot on Feb. 11, 1991, when she and her training officer stopped to question a man they suspected of being a criminal.

Officer Randy Simmons became the first SWAT team member to be killed in the line of duty when he was gunned down on Feb. 7, 2008, by a man hiding in a Winnetka home after he killed three relatives.

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-- Ann M. Simmons

Photo: Officer Randy Simmons, a 20-year veteran of LAPD's SWAT team, was one of the officers honored Thursday. This is a 2008 photo from a news conference shortly after Simmons was killed. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

 
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