Remembering NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen through acts of kindness

After 19-year-veteran of NYPD Brian Simonsen passed away, his wife and friends kept his name alive through charitable actions.

News 12 Staff

May 18, 2022, 2:25 AM

Updated 757 days ago

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Brian Simonsen was a 19-year-veteran of the NYPD, and his union’s delegate before he was killed. 
On Feb. 12, 2019, he was called in for a robbery at a T-Mobile in Queens after he had been pursuing a robbery pattern case. Simonsen was struck by friendly fire in the incident.
His memory is carried on by his wife Leanne Simonsen, to whom he had been married for 5 1/2 years before passing.
“He just lit up a room,” said Leanne. “The minute you met him you felt like you knew him forever and he made you feel like you were one of his best friends."
With the help of their friends, the Detective Brian “Smiles” Simonsen Foundation was launched in May 2019 – he got the nickname smiles for always grinning.
Since then, the foundation has provided scholarships, donated to animal rescues, vested K-9 units with bulletproof vests and hosted back-to-school events.
“The amount of good in the world is still out there,” said Leanne. “I can’t let his life be forgotten.”


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