February 13, 2019
Today, the 55,000 members of the NYPD again mourn one of our own. Detective Brian Simonsen was the kind of public servant cops strive to be. He and his loved ones will always be part of our police family, and we will never forget their sacrifice. My message to Brian's colleagues:
To All the Members of the NYPD:
Last night, we lost a dedicated, true hero and — make no mistake — it was solely because another career criminal put the lives of civilians and police officers in jeopardy.
Detective Brian Simonsen, 42, was shot and killed while doing his job: fighting crime and keeping everyone in our city safe. He had 19 years with the NYPD, all of it in the 102nd Precinct, where he first patrolled and later went upstairs to join the squad. A great investigator held in very high esteem by his coworkers, Brian was soon elected the squad's Detectives' Endowment Association delegate.
This absolute tragedy highlights the incredibly brave actions our members perform each day in the name of driving down violence and disorder in every neighborhood. And I hope that it helps all New Yorkers understand just how difficult it is to be an NYPD officer.
The outpouring of support we are receiving as a police department is simply overwhelming — from our law enforcement partners at the local, state, and federal levels across the nation and the world; to the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center doctors and nurses, who fought so hard to save Brian; to the FDNY firefighters and EMTs, the New York State Police troopers, the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority cops and many more, who all stood at attention and saluted in the cold rain as the ambulance transporting Brian from Jamaica to Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan passed by.
This is heartbreaking. But we are not alone. Please remember that what you do every day for the people of this city matters a great deal. And for that, I am humbled by you, I am infinitely proud of you, and I sincerely thank you.
Always stay safe,
James P. O'Neill