Goodbye, My Friend

September 26, 2009 | Paul Hoke

It’s taken a few days for me to gather my thoughts and emotions regarding a tragic event that occurred earlier this week. But I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can speak on it.

As some of you know, we in the law enforcement community lost a brother this past Thursday. Detective Jason W. Simons, a 7-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department was tragically killed in a single vehicle accident while on his way to work. Losing Jason has not only sent a shock through the agency, but more importantly, to those of us who knew him well enough to call him a friend. I had the pleasure of working alongside Jason for the past 7 years, watching him come to the Towson Precinct as a rookie, straight out of the academy, and develop into one of the best natural police I have seen in my almost 14 years in law enforcement. As Rex Snider can attest, we in the law enforcement community don’t throw the term “natural police” around for just anyone. But Jason was. When he was on, he was one of the best. Being a cop is like any other job in that there are some that can do it, some that can’t, some that should, and some that shouldn’t. Even the best cops in the world have to work extra hard sometimes, just to be as good as they are. With Jason, it was natural. There was a flow to his work that very few possess. His greatest strength was his ability to talk to people, which is harder then you might think. Whether it was a victim, witness, suspect, or complainant, Jason knew just what to say and how to say it. No matter how good of a cop you are, if you can’t talk to people, you will struggle. But he was more then just a good cop. For those of us lucky enough to know the true man, Jason was a beloved husband, devoted father, and a true friend. As much as he loved his job, family and friends were what truly mattered to Jason. But there was also, another love of his life…the Baltimore Orioles. Jason was an avid O’s fan, and while most of us have turned sour on the team after 12 years of losing, Jason started every season with an optimism that sometimes bordered on lunacy. I can vividly remember him and I going over the good and bad of the team before, during, and after the baseball season. Me, looking at the Oriole glass as half empty, Jason always taking the half full, headed in the right direction approach.

In addition to his love for the Orioles, Jason loved sports as a whole. Especially any involving his six year old son. Jason was his son’s soccer coach, and would stand on the sidelines cheering his boy on, whatever sport he was playing. I too have an extremely athletic son, and Jason and I would spend a lot of time glowing over our son’s athletic accomplishments. When Jason assisted me in a case, not that long ago, we spent more time talking about the boys, then we did the actual facts of the case. After all, our son’s were more important and interesting then what we were working on.

As I sit here tonight writing this, I think fondly on what a difference Jason made, not just for me in my life, but in the lives of all whom he came in contact with. I could go on speaking of Jason forever, and what he meant, not just to me, but to everyone. I find it hard to fight back the tears as I am finally starting to get over the shock, and realize that not only has the community lost a excellent cop, but I have lost a very dear friend. A friend who can never be replaced, and who I will miss deeply. A friend who would do anything for anyone, and not ask for a thing in return. So I ask anyone who reads this post to pause for a moment, and think on the life of Detective Jason W. Simons. Whether you knew the man or not, he and his wonderful family deserve all of our heartfelt thoughts and prayers.

Goodbye, my friend, I will miss you.