In 37 years Jack Simington saw a lot as a Kennewick police officer but never saw how many co-workers he touched until his retirement.
A few hundred members of law enforcement, family, friends and community members filled the Southridge Sports Complex on Monday to pay tribute to the retiring sergeant.
He started his career with the Kennewick police department in 1980 and now looks forward to more time with his children and grandchildren, as well as working on projects at home.
Co-workers spoke about his antics and a tradition of them claiming it was his birthday when they went to restaurants for lunches and dinners. Based on “birthday” meals, a co-worker teased him about being 109 years old.
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He was thanked for his work for the Fraternal Order of Police, where “he was known to have an opinion.” The group paid for a display box filled with his badges, ID cards and patches, said Kennewick Sgt. Randy Maynard.
We were taught to share our daddy. Some people needed him more than us.
Aimee Simington-Pearce, daughter
“He is a good man,” said Richland Capt. Mike Cobb. “Nobody’s worn (the badge) better.”
Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg talked of Simington’s dedication to the department, his fellow officers and to law enforcement.
“We talked about your passion. We talked about you being a pain,” the chief said. “You always helped the (police department) be a better place.”
“I didn’t give you your first badge … but it is my honor to give you your last,” said Hohenberg.
Simington’s daughter Aimee Simington-Pearce spoke about the partnership between her father and mother, and how she always supported him and the police department.
“We were taught to share our daddy,” she said. “Some people needed him more than us.”
Simington credited his wife and family for making it through the years and standing by him during his career. Then he presented a poem as a way to express his gratitude for his fellow law enforcement officers and the job he leaves behind.
“I am proud to work with each and everyone one of you,” he said. “We have the greatest profession in the world, and it’s not about individuals. It’s about family.”