Vigils for fallen officer

November 19, 2008 5:32:39 AM PST
Those who knew Sgt. Timothy Simpson say he was dedicated to his family, the force and his faith. There was a mass Tuesday night for Simpson, as well as a vigil.

Sgt. Simpson died in a crash Monday night in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia. Police say his cruiser was hit by 41-year-old William Foster of Levittown, Bucks County.

According to investigators, Foster was in the city to buy drugs, he had a suspended license, and was driving under the influence.

At a vigil held at the scene of the crash, the captain of the 24th district had these words for the man charged with Simpson's death.

"There are strict orders that I'm to be notified that he will go nowhere, nowhere without Timmy's cuffs placed on his wrist," said Capt. Kevin Hodges.

They are two overpowering and draining emotions that the Philadelphia police force has felt five times in a little over a year: Grief and anger.

In fact, Sgt. Timothy Simpson felt it himself when he placed the handcuffs of his former partner and friend, Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski's on that fallen lawman's accused killer.

Just hours before his death, Simpson was awarded "Superintendent of the Month." During his 20 years on the force, Simpson also received a heroism award, four merit awards and a letter of commendation.

Friends say Simpson was a good husband and a loving dad to his three kids.

Some of his family attended a mass Tuesday night at St. Jerome's in Northeast Philadelphia.

Members of the congregation and several officers listened on as a priest described a hero as an ordinary person who is called to do extraodinary things. Simpson sent all three of his children to Catholic school and Father Joseph Campellone of Father Judge High School said the Simpsons' faith was always an integral part of their family.

"It's very, very difficult, it's a beautiful family and I was with them all morning and it's a family of faith," said Father Campellone. "It's a faith that was given to them by their dad."

Fallen officer Chuck Cassidy also belonged to St. Jeromes. He was shot on Halloween 2007 and died shortly thereafter.

Father Campellone went on to say that although it is a very distressing time for the congregation, they are people of hope and hope is what they were celebrating.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the trust fund for the family of Sergeant Timmy Simpson can do so in the following ways:

Check payable to:

The Timmy Simpson Family Memorial Trust Fund
Police & Fire Federal Credit Union
901 Arch Street
Philadelphia PA, 19107

Donations can also be personally taken to the 24th District which is located at 3901 Whitaker Avenue or to any of the following Philadelphia Police and Fire Credit Union Branches:

901 Arch Street
7604 City Avenue
8500 Henry Avenue
3338 S. Broad Street
Leo Mall, Byberry and Bustleton Avenue
7500 Castor Avenue
3330 Grant Avenue

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.


Load Comments