A Philadelphia police officer was killed on duty in a traffic accident Nov. 24, 2018. A maker was recently placed near the scene of the accident on West Beacon Street.
A Philadelphia police officer was killed on duty in a traffic accident Nov. 24, 2018. A maker was recently placed near the scene of the accident on West Beacon Street.
Almost exactly one year after the tragic car wreck that took the life of Philadelphia police officer LeAnn Simpson, friends, family and law enforcement officers honored her life Monday by placing a marker near scene of the accident.

Simpson, 23, died from her injuries from a single-car wreck on West Beacon Street shortly after 2 a.m. on Nov. 24 of last year. 9-1-1 Dispatch could not make contact with two officers conducting a traffic stop on Mississippi 16 past Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, and Simpson was sent out as backup.

Officers, friends and family gathered Monday morning to honor her service and sacrifice with a polished stone marker displaying Simpson’s name, her military service photo, an American flag and her badge number - 88.

Richard Cooney, a Neshoba County Sheriff’s Deputy who went through the police academy with Simpson, organized the event. 

Philadelphia Alderman-At-Large Leroy Clemons spoke to the small group that gathered to lay the marker Monday morning.

“She touched so many different people with the way she conducted herself,” Philadelphia Alderman-At-Large Leroy Clemons said. “When we lost her, we lost a great officer. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to replace her.”

Clemons’ wife taught Simpson in grade school, and Clemons said after watching her grow up, he could easily have imagined her rising in the ranks.

“She could have gone and done anything she wanted,” Clemons said Tuesday. “She was that talented and smart.

“When she decided to become a police officer, I was more than happy to recommend her because, to me, she could — and should — have been one of the greatest officers the Philly Police Department has ever had.”

The marker is not the only tribute being paid to Simpson near the anniversary of her sacrifice.

Last month, students at Tucker Elementary released hundreds of balloons in memory of Simpson following a presentation from the Choctaw and Philadelphia Police Departments.

The non-profit Running 4 Heroes also dedicated the first mile of the Rock and Brews Run Club 5k race in Oviedo, Fla. to Simpson’s memory.

Her mother, Wilma Simpson-McMillan, said her daughter came into this world ready to go.

“She was eager to get her life started on August 12, 1995, when she was born in the elevator at the University Medical Center in Jackson,” Simpson-McMillan told the Journal last year. “LeAnn has accomplished more in her 23 years than most do in a lifetime.”

Simpson was a 2014 graduate of Neshoba Central High School.

After serving throughout high school in the Naval Junior ROTC program, she decided to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps to serve and joined the Mississippi Army National Guard. She served for seven years. At Basic Training, she received the excellence in marksmanship award.

Once she finished high school, she went on to her Advanced Individual Training to become a QM and chemical equipment repair specialist with the 367th Maintenance Co. of Philadelphia.

Her career path continued when she attended the BIA Office of Justice Services United States Indian Police Academy and graduated November 23, 2016.  She then worked at the Smith John Justice Complex as an adult detention officer for the MS Band of Choctaw Indian. Simpson served with her brothers and sisters in blue on the Philadelphia Police Department for 15 months before her untimely death.