Veteran Tenn. gang officer found dead
By Ryan Harris
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Lt. Ken Simpson, an 18-year veteran Cleveland police officer known as an expert on gang activity, died late Thursday. He was 46.
"He was an excellent officer who took pride in the department and in the city," City Manager Janice Casteel said.
She said Lt. Simpson's administrative work brought $1 million in grants to the police department.
Lt. Simpson was working on a program with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc.
Lt. Simpson was still in uniform when his son found him unresponsive in the garage of their Bradley County home just after 7 p.m. Thursday, officials said.
Mayor Tom Rowland said preliminary autopsy results indicated the officer died from a heart attack.
The mayor said that Lt. Simpson's family will receive a contribution from Cleveland 100, an organization dedicated to helping families of emergency service workers who die while on duty.
"He was a excellent police officer and well respected throughout the ranks," Mr. Rowland said.
Hours before his death, Lt. Simpson had received the Chief Wesley B. Snyder Sr. Memorial Award for his work with the Cleveland Police Honor Guard. The award is named for the father of Police Chief Wes Snyder Jr.
Chief Snyder called Lt. Simpson's death a "tragedy, to say the least."
"I'm going to miss his friendship, and the organization will miss his commitment," Chief Snyder said.
Funeral arrangements are being made at Jim Rush Funeral Home North Chapel in Cleveland but are incomplete.
Copyright 2008 The Chattanooga Times Free Press
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