NYPD Det.Brian Simonsen of Calverton was killed in the line of duty Feb. 12 in Queens. Photo: NYPD

NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen will be honored by Heidi’s Helping Angels at the organization’s 10th annual fundraising dinner on Oct. 17.

The Jamesport native and Calverton resident was killed in the line of duty in Queens Feb. 12, during a shootout as he responded to a report of an armed robbery.

A 19-year NYPD veteran, Simonsen, 42, was a plainclothes member of an anti-crime squad from the 102nd Precinct. He and his partner were in the area working on an unrelated case when two 911 calls came in reporting an armed robbery in progress at a nearby T-Mobile store. Simonsen and his partner, Sgt. Matthew Gorman, had already entered the store and were exchanging gunfire with a suspect inside when patrol officers arrived at the scene. Multiple officers fired multiple shots, wounding both Simonsen and Gorman, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said.

Heidi’s Helping Angels was founded in 2009 with the mission of furthering community service in the name of someone who gave her life while serving her community.

Heidi Behr was a volunteer EMT with Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps who, with paramedic Bill Stone of Ridge, was killed when the ambulance they were in — rushing a cardiac patient to the hospital — crashed on Route 25 in Aquebogue in May 2005. Behr was just 23 years old and the mother of a severely disabled infant son.

Former town supervisor Jim Stark founded the organization to help Heidi’s legacy “pay it forward,” because “she was all about community service,” he said in a 2011 interview.

The annual dinner benefits the Heidi Behr Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards assistance to graduating high school students who have demonstrated a commitment to community service.

Dinner tickets are $37 per person in advance and $40 at the door. The event includes a complete roast beef dinner at Riverhead Polish Hall. Reservations are recommended. Only 300 tickets will be sold. To reserve tickets contact Ron Schmidt at 631-722-4944.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.