Jennifer Drew – Professor of Sociology
Boston Police Officer Dennis “D.J.” Simmonds unexpectedly passed away on April 10 at the age of 28. He graduated from Lasell College in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice.
Simmonds earned the second highest grade on the Boston Police exam the year he tested and was the youngest admitted to the force at the age of 22. In just over five years on the force, he distinguished himself. He served as a uniformed beat cop in Dorchester, and then was promoted to a plain-clothes position in the BPD Gang Unit.
He was involved in the apprehension of the 2013 Marathon bombing suspects in Watertown and sustained injuries from a thrown explosive during the manhunt. The injuries kept him out of work for two months.
As recently as March 6, D.J. was on campus speaking to Professor Jennifer Drew’s CJ327 class on the importance of writing in police work. He was scheduled to be a guest at the White House on May 12 to be honored by President Obama for his courage and sacrifice.
D.J. was always modest, earning the nickname “quiet thunder” from his family. He didn’t tell Professor Drew’s students anything about his courage or his scheduled White House honor. Instead, he offered to be part of the Criminal Justice Advisory Panel, and gave back to Lasell in any way he could.
D.J. and his girlfriend had just bought a house and adopted a dog. He will be missed by friends, family, fellow Lasell alumni, and current students and faculty at Lasell.