BPD Remembers the Service and Sacrifice of Sgt. Dennis ‘DJ’ Simmonds Who Died in the Line of Duty Five Years Ago: Today, Tuesday, April 10, 2019, we take a moment to remember the service and sacrifice of Boston Police Sgt. Dennis ‘DJ’ Simmonds who passed away on this day five years ago after suffering a medical emergency stemming from injuries sustained during a shootout in Watertown with the individuals responsible for the attack on our Boston Marathon.
Shortly after midnight almost six years ago, on April 19, 2013, Officer Simmonds and his fellow officers responded to Watertown for developing incident outside the city. MIT Police Officer Sean Collier had been murdered in Cambridge and it was believed that those responsible were on the run in Watertown. Not surprisingly, Officer Simmonds was among the first Boston Police Officers to arrive at the scene and, on arrival, quickly found himself engaged in a firefight with the individuals who attacked the Marathon. During the fight, Officer Simmonds would suffer a severe head injury resulting when one of the suspects tossed an explosive device towards him. Almost a year to the day later, on April 10, 2014, Officer Simmonds suffered a medical emergency as a result of the injuries sustained on that fateful evening that would ultimately claim his life.
In the days after the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Officer Simmonds and his partners would receive the Schroeder Brothers Medal, the BPD’s highest award and honor for courage and bravery. In May of 2014, a month after his passing, Officer Simmonds’ family and other Boston Police Officers would travel to Washington, DC to receive an award from President Barack Obama.
On that day, May 12, 2014, President Obama would present 25 Massachusetts Police Officers, including Officer Simmonds, with the nation’s Top Cop Award for bravery and dedication as shown during the attack on the Boston Marathon and the ultimate apprehension of those responsible in the days that followed. During the ceremony, President Obama offered the following, “In Boston, our entire country saw once again the strong stuff that these men and women in uniform are made of … we don’t always get that opportunity to stand and applaud the men and women who keep us safe. But they’re out there, hundreds of thousands of you, patrolling our streets every single day. And we know that when we need you most, you’ll be ready to dash into danger, to protect our lives even if it means putting your lives on the line.”
So, on this day, the men and women of the BPD humbly ask you to take a moment to appreciate and applaud those who dash into danger fully prepared to sacrifice their own safety to protect and serve others. On this day, we ask you to remember the service and sacrifice of Boston Police Sgt. Dennis Simmonds.
Sgt. Simmonds is buried at the Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain and his name is can be seen on the National Law Enforcement Memorial: Panel 33 East Line 29. His name is also etched on the Boston Police Memorial at Boston Police Headquarters and the State Memorial at the State House.
A Hero Sign has been placed at the Boston Police Academy on 85 Williams Ave in Hyde Park.
He was posthumously promoted from officer to sergeant by the Boston Police Department on June 14, 2018.