Boston police officer dies on duty


BOSTON ( -- Boston Police announced the death of an officer on duty after he suffered a medical emergency at the Boston Police Academy Thursday.

Dennis O. Simmonds, 28, was a highly decorated officer with Boston Police for six years. He was an undercover officer on the department's Youth Violence Strike Force.

The 28-year-old earned the department's highest honor of the Schroeder Brothers Memorial Medal for his bravery during the Watertown shoot-out after last year's marathon. He received the award at an event just a few weeks ago that just happened to be emceed by our Maria Stephanos. He was set to go to Washington, D.C. next month to be presented by President Obama himself with one of the country's highest honors for police.

His father said that his family was extremely proud of him.

"DJ was committed to family, he was committed to friends, he was doing what he loved to do, he was in the gym every day, he would work tirelessly all the time whether he was sick or hurt," he said. "He was someone who we aspired to be like."

He went on to say that Simmonds had wanted to be a police officer since he was a little boy and graduated with a degree in 2008 from Lasalle College.

Supt. in Chief William Gross said the 28-year-old had promise to be a leader in the police department in the future and that he was planning to take the sergeants exam.

"Officer Simmonds will be greatly missed by his friends, colleagues and all members of the Department," according to

An emotional and very respectful procession escorted the body of Simmonds from the Medical Examiner's Office to the Cartwright Funeral Home in Randolph Friday. Funeral arrangements have not been announced yet.