BADGE 149 NEWSLETTER
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2019
Captain Gary P. Jones [retired]
FORT LAUDERDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT
1967 - 1993

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE, DIVISION OF INSURANCE FRAUD
1993 - 2003

Author of:
Badge 149 - "Shots Fired!"
and
"Saints, Sinners, Survivors"





SOMEONE I ADMIRE
AND RESPECT
Gary Sinise is probably best known for his outstanding acting. He had major roles in films such as 1994's Forrest Gump (as Lieutenant Dan Taylor) and 1995's Apollo 13 (as astronaut Ken Mattingly).

Now, Gary Sinise has dedicated himself to working on behalf of our brave and worthy military personnel, and their families too. Some of his activities have been reported by the mainstream media, but this is only a small fraction of what he and his Foundation have done, and continue to do now.

There is no way that I can adequately describe all that the Gary Sinise Foundation does in this short newsletter. Their total efforts are tremendous and the results are awesome, especially to the veterans who lives these efforts impact.

I would encourage you to view a short video (about 8 1/2 minutes long) that explains all that they do. This video is awesome and I found it very moving and inspirational. Just click on the link below and then when you see the Foundation's main page, click where it says "Play" and then you'll be able to view the video.

One final note, although most of what the Foundation does is focused primarily on our military personnel, and their families, the Foundation also assists our nation's first responders. According to the Foundation's current stats, 233 emergency relief grants were awarded to police, firefighters and EMTs. 445 essential pieces of equipment were also donated and 1,135 first responder training grants were also funded by the Gary Sinise Foundation.

I'm sure these stats will continue to change as the Foundation does even more.

If you're looking for a good and worthy organization to donate too, I can't think of a better one that the Gary Sinise Foundation. In fact, as soon as I finish doing this month's newsletter I plan on making a $100.00 donation myself.
REMEMBERING AN AMERICAN HERO
Sergeant Dennis "D.J."
Simmonds
Boston Police Department (BPD)
I'm sure we all remember the horrific Boston Marathon bombing back on April 15, 2013. In that savage attack two homemade pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the race. Three people were killed and hundreds more were injured. At least 16 of those who were injured lost limbs.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) eventually identified the two men involved. They were brothers Dzhokhar Tsamaev and Tamerian Tsamaev. Before their vicious crime spree finally ended, shortly after midnight on April 19, 2013, the brothers murdered Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Police Officer Sean Collier , in Cambridge. A surveillance camera at MIT reportedly captured the Tsamaev brothers approaching Officer Collier's police vehicle from behind.

Officer Sean Collier was shot five times as he sat alone in his patrol car. Whoever shot Officer Collier apparently tried to steal the officer's gun from his holster, but was unable to do so.

The two brothers also carjacked/kidnapped a man and his car. They were eventually located in nearby Watertown, Massachusetts.

Law enforcement officers from many different agencies responded to the Watertown area. Officer Simmonds was among the first Boston police officers to arrive in Watertown, and he and his fellow officers quickly found themselves engaged in a deadly shootout with the two brothers.

During the 20-minute firefight two police officers were wounded. Richard "Dic" Donohue , a transit officer with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), was apparently hit by a police bullet. He was hit in the groin, he began to bleed profusely and he lost so much blood that he almost died.

In June of 2015 the Middlesex District Attorney's Office concluded that then-Officer Donohue was probably accidentally shot by one of the other 19 officers who were shooting at the two Tsarnaevs brothers.

In May of 2015, after almost two years, Officer Donohue was able to return to work. He was also promoted to sergeant. But, early in 2016 Sergeant Donohue (age: 36) announced that he was retiring. The ongoing and intense pain he continued to endure made it impossible for Sgt. Donohue to deal with the rigors of the law enforcement profession.

Sgt. Donohue accepted an adjunct professorship at Fisher College (in Boston), teaching criminal justice. Note: I went to the Fisher College web page, but was unable to find anything there regarding Richard Donohue teaching there, so I don't really know if he's still working there.

Officer D.J. Simmonds , from Boston P.D., was also injured during the violent confrontation with the two Tsarnaevs brothers. Officer Simmonds suffered a head injury when one of the suspects tossed an explosive device towards him. The two subjects had thrown as many as a half-dozen homemade bombs at the officers, but several of these were duds. Unfortunately though, the bomb that landed near Officer Simmonds was not one of these duds.

Tamerian Tsarnaevs had been hit by police gunfire and he was also run over by his own brother, when Dzhokhar fled the scene of the shootout in their stolen vehicle. Tamerian was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

After a lenghty search for the remaining brother (Dzhokhar), which reportedly involved thousands of law enforcement officers searhing a 20-block area of Watertown, Dzhokhar was found hiding in a boat. He had also been wounded.

On April 10, 2014, almost a year to the day later, Officer Simmonds suffered a medical emergency as a result of the injuries he had sustained when the bomb exploded near him. Officer Simmonds fell ill during a workout and he died at the hospital of a brain aneurysm. He was just 28.

Officer Simmonds, and other BPD officers, received the prestigious Schroeder Brothers Medal, the BPD's highest award and honor for courage and bravery.

On June 14, 2018, he was posthumously promoted from Officer to Sergeant.

Sgt. Simmonds name is on the Boston Police Memorial at Boston Police Headquarters and at the State Memorial at the State House. A Hero sign has also been placed at the Boston Police Academy.

Sgt. Simmonds name is on the National Law Enforcement Memorial (Panel 33 East Line 29), in Washington, D.C.

Dennis "D.J." Simmonds is buried at the Forest Hills Cemetery, in Jamaica Plain. The locals call Jamaica Plain "J.P." and it is a nice neighborhood located within the City of Boston.

______________________________

What happened to the terrorist Dzhokhar Tsamaev? On April 8, 2015, he was convicted of 30 charges, which included the use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. Then, two months later, on June 24, 2015, he was sentenced to death.
______________________________

Initially, Sgt. Simmonds death apparently did not receive the proper recognition that it deserved. His death was not from natural causes and it was a direct result of the Tsamaev brothers actions. Eventually, in May of 2015, the state retirement board recognized that Sgt. Simmonds passing was a line-of-duty death.

PoliceOne.com is an outstanding law enforcement-related site and several years ago they posted an excellent article regarding Sgt. Simmonds. It is titled:

"Unsung hero: The story of the Boston bombing's fifth victim"

Cole Zercoe is the author of this article. He is the Senior Associate Editor of PoliceOne.

Again, this is an excellent article and I would recommend that you read it. I learned a lot of new information that I never knew before, especially about Sergeant Dennis "D.J." Simmonds, who was the fifth fatality of the Boston bombing.

If you click on the button below it will take you to the PoliceOne article about BPD Sergeant Dennis "D.J." Simmonds.
Guilty court decision with judge gavel and wooden cubes with text
I'm sure most of us have heard about the former Dallas Police Officer (Amber Guyger) who shot and killed her neighbor (Botham Jean). She entered his apartment, mistakenly thinking it was her apartment, and shot him because she thought he was a burglar, who was about to attack her.

She was found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder, and not the lesser charge of Manslaughter. Apparently the jury could have found her guilty of Manslaughter, but decided that a 2nd Degree Murder conviction was more appropriate. Then, that same jury recommended that she be given a sentence of just ten (10) years, even though the prosecution had wanted twenty-eight (28) years. She faced anywhere between five and 99 years or life in prison. I must admit, I'm a little confused.

The jury thought that 2nd Degree Murder was the appropriate charge to convict her on, but then they give her a lenient sentence of just ten (10) years? Why? I suspect we'll never know why and it only reinforces my previous belief that you never really can predict what any given jury will do.

This is indeed a tragedy, for everyone involved. I don't believe that Amber Guyger intentionally intended to murder anyone, and she made a very tragic mistake when she entered Mr. Jean's apartment. Yes, I believe she should be held accountable and I agree she should have been convicted of something . I'm just not sure that 2nd Degree Murder was appropriate, and I believe a Manslaughter conviction would have been.

I mention this case for one specific, and important, reason. The prosecution apparently tried to convince the jury that Officer Guyger was a racist. And, after the verdict was announced one of the Jean family lawyers also reportedly stated that the verdict was "a victory for black people in America."

I don't know if ex-Officer Guyger was a racist, and I don't even know if the jury thought she was. But, the jury was shown many of her social media posts which were offensive, and text messages too, which also seemed to be racist in nature. I'm not sure what social media sites ex-Officer Guyger frequented, but I did see Pinterest mentioned in some of the media accounts I read. Because I do have an active Pinterest site myself, I was very interested in what I read.

As law enforcement professionals, and even private citizens too, we need to always be aware that what we're posting today may come back to haunt us some way in the future. Personally, I always try to remember this, although I do realize I have made some mistakes.

Was ex-Officer Guyger a racist? I don't know, but she definitely gave the prosecution the ammunition it needed to make it look like she was. This post here in my newsletter is just a reminder for all of us (me included), that we always need to remain diligent, cautious and totally aware of what we post.


Police Suicides Continue
To Outnumber
Line-Of-Duty Deaths

It is a fact that suicides involving retired military personnel, and law enforcement professionals, occur at a much higher rate than that of the general population.
2nd book
In my book I discuss suicide and the law enforcement profession.
2nd book
In my book I also described my volunteer work with my local 2-1-1 crisis hotline, which also handled the Suicide Prevention Lifeline calls for the Tallahassee area. If you would like to help and make a difference you might want to volunteer with your local 2-1-1.
Copline is the first INTERNATIONAL law enforcement officers' hotline that is manned by retired law enforcement officers. Retired law enforcement officers are trained in active listening and bring the knowledge and understanding of the many psychosocial stressors that officers go through both on and off the job. Active/Retired officers and/or their families can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and be assured that there is a trained retired officer on the other end of the line whether the caller is calling while on duty or off. The line is strictly confidential, the caller can remain anonymous and there is no fear of punitive repercussions from initiating the call.
The next Copline training will be February 19-23, 2020 , in the Dallas, Texas area. I've wanted to become a Copline hotline volunteer for a while now, and I plan on attending this February training, if possible. The training, of course, is free. Unfortunately though, everything else, including the lodging, meals and travel expenses, are the volunteer's responsibility. I mention this in case some of my newsletter readers might also want to volunteer. Copline gets between 120-160 calls per month, so they are always looking for new and dedicated law enforcement individuals (Active or retired) to become volunteers.

If you would like to get more information about Copline, and/or being a Copline volunteer, you can call Copline Director Stephanie Samuels at:

732-577-8300, ex. 8.  

VETERANS DAY
NOVEMBER 11th

 If you have already purchased one of my two books, thank you! If you enjoyed the book(s) I would ask you to consider writing a short review of the book, either on Amazon or at my publisher's online bookstore. My publisher's online bookstore is at:
www.buybooksontheweb.com
(You can also just click on the "Book Review" Logo above)

Go to the "True Crime" section to read the book reviews already there, or to make a new one.


A link has been added to my web site so you can go back and read all of my Newsletters that I have sent out.

Book signing in Michigan
This is a picture of me doing a book signing in Alpena, Michigan at the 7th Annual Deputy Ryan Seguin Memorial Golf Scramble , in September of 2013.

thankyou_charity_box_hdr.jpg
Gary P. Jones, Captain [retired] | Jones313@aol.com | www.badge149.com