NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen was laid to rest today in Jamesport.
Thousands of New York Police Department officers and city officials turned out for a funeral Mass this morning at the Church of St. Rosalie in Hampton Bays, where visiting hours for the fallen officer were held on Monday and Tuesday.
Simonsen died in the line of duty Feb. 12. The 19-year NYPD veteran was mortally wounded in a shootout after responding to a call about an armed robbery in progress at a mobile phone store in the Queens precinct he served since he first joined the police force.
The solemn funeral procession — led by dozens of motorcycle cops — made its way from the church to Jamesport Cemetery, passing under a large American flag draped from the extended ladder of a Westhampton Beach Fire Department truck.
Residents and business owners tied blue bows and ribbons to posts, fences and utility poles along the route and also in the Calverton subdivision where Simonsen made his home with his wife Leanne.
Cliff’s Elbow Room and the adjacent shops tied a wide blue ribbon around the midsection of the building, the blue line of mourning for a fallen police officer. A display paying tribute to the fallen officer stood outside the building. It read “NYPD-SMILES” — referring to the fallen officer’s nickname. Many shops on Main Road flew a black and white version of the Stars and Stripe with a single blue bar stretching across its center.
People lined Main Road and South Jamesport Avenue, some with hands over hearts and others with phones aloft to capture photos and videos of the procession as it passed by. Police officers stood at attention and saluted.
Simonsen was well-known and well-liked throughout the Riverhead community, where he remained friends with the people he grew up with and went to school with. People remember the 1995 Riverhead High School graduate as a kind and generous man with an easy smile and pleasant disposition.
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