Collectively, our hearts are broken over the loss of a fine young police officer who died serving and protecting our city.

Philadelphia Police Officer LeAnn Simpson died responding to a call for help to check on a county deputy who was on a traffic stop out past Pearl River Resort. She was 23 and had been with the force 15 months. She was scheduled to be deployed in the Army National Guard in 2019.

Her mother, father and aunt brought pictures by the Democrat last Tuesday and that’s when it hit those of us who prepare these pages.

The outpouring of support has been overwhelming and comforting, said her mother Wilma Simpson-McMillan, yet she expressed much concern for the first responders (many of them very young) who worked the wreck. This has been very hard on the police force losing one of their own.

Every mother of a police officer worries about their child being shot, as Wilma said she did. We owe a debt of gratitude to all who serve to protect. 

Wilma and the family know LeAnn is with the Lord, yet they need our prayers in the days ahead as they move on. But yet, you never really “move on” from this kind of tragedy. 

Law enforcement from all over the country paid their respects on Friday. A patrol car from Cherokee, N.C., was among those in the funeral procession. More than 75 emergency units took part in the procession.

From downtown, the sirens could be heard for miles coming into town from the church at Tucker. It took a good 20 minutes for all the cars to pass by the Courthouse.

The police chief last Tuesday said he wasn’t able to keep up with the calls from various agencies. Yet, that night they were chasing down armed robbers. They need our prayers and love.

So that Philadelphia PD officers and dispatchers could attend the funeral, others filled in for them.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol, Game and Fish and the Bureau of Narcotics provided patrol in the city for the three or four hours officers were away.

The county helped with dispatching along with a former PPD officer.

In addition to those who showed up in person, the PD has received several hundred cards of sympathy from California to Maine and Canada to Florida.

Simpson was remembered as a person who was dedicated to serving and protecting others and always had a smile on her face.

PD to PD 88

PD to PD 88

Philadelphia Police Department to PD 88

Last Call for PD 88.

PD 88 Officer LeAnn Simpson, we thank you for your dedication and for your service to the citizens of Philadelphia. You have touched many lives, and although you are gone, you will never be forgotten.

Rest in peace, our friend.

End of watch November 24, 2018, at 0212 hours

Philadelphia Police Department clear 13:38