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Feb 17, 2019 4:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Thousands Gathered At NYPD Detective’s Funeral Services in Hampton Bays

The funeral service of New York City Police Detective Brian Simonsen took place in Hampton Bays Wednesday morning. DANA SHAW
Feb 20, 2019 1:26 PM

UPDATE: Wednesday, 12:30 p.m.

Thousands of friends, family and police officers from across the country gathered in Hampton Bays to bid their final farewell to New York City Police Detective Brian Simonsen. The funeral began at 10 a.m. at St. Rosalie's Church.

A sea of navy blue uniforms streched about a mile down Montauk Highway to see off the funeral procession as it moved to the Jamesport Cemetery for burial.

Cars were seen parked along both sides of Sunrise Highway near the Hampton Bays exit. Buses shuttled people in and out of the barricaded area.


Large crowds are anticipated in Hampton Bays Monday through Wednesday to pay respects to New York City Police Detective Brian Simonsen, who died by friendly fire in Queens on Tuesday and was well known by many in the community.

“We expect attendance to range from 5,000 to 10,000 people,” Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said. His department will be working with city, county, state and other local police agencies to manage the services and provide traffic control, he said.

Det. Simonsen, a 19-year veteran officer, was a Calverton resident who graduated from Riverhead High School. He was shot in the chest by a fellow officer’s bullet on Tuesday when he and six other officers were responding to an armed robbery. He was 42.

Expecting a high turnout, the Simonsen family requested that all services take place in St. Rosalie’s Church in Hampton Bays because of its large size, the Reverend Steve Maddaloni said.

“We seat about 750, and there is standing room in the church, too. There will be people outside in the parking lot. We’ll do what we can do,” Mr. Maddaloni said.

Wake services are scheduled on Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral will take place on Wednesday at 10 a.m., followed by burial at the Jamesport Cemetery.

In a press release, Town Police said the public should expect delays from 6 to 10 p.m. on Monday and from 1 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Police advise drivers to avoid the area from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday due to significant road closures and parking restrictions.

The following roads will be closed on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Montauk Highway from Flanders Road (State Route 24) to Old Riverhead Road, Squiretown Road from Montauk Highway to Old Riverhead Road, Springville Road from Montauk Highway to Good Ground Road and Ponquogue Avenue from Montauk Highway to Good Ground Road.

After the funeral, there will be a moving closure from Flanders Road to County Road 105 while the funeral procession heads to the Jamesport Cemetery.

From 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day, parking will not be allowed along the same roadways in addition to Montauk Highway from Old Riverhead Road to Canoe Place Road.

Community members have come together during the last few days to host the Simonsen family and guests.

Hampton Bays resident and Town Board member Julie Lofstad created a GoFundMe page on Friday to raise money for the cost of ribbons that she and other residents plan to tie along Main Street in honor of Det. Simonsen.

But in an update on the page Saturday, Ms. Lofstad wrote that the Southampton Town Superior Officers Association offered to cover the ribbon expenses, so all the money raised will be given to the Simonsen family. As of Sunday, 55 people donated a total of $2,205.

Manorville resident Jennifer Harrison posted on a Facebook community forum on Friday seeking donations for food, refreshments and supplies for the funeral services. On Sunday, she said restaurants from Riverhead, Hampton Bays, Manorville, Wading River and Bellport have agreed to donate hot trays of food and desserts, and one person agreed to purchase heroes and salads.

“This is a way to show our police officers not only how much we appreciate what they do but also that we stand with them in their time of need,” Ms. Harrison wrote in the post.

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May Detective Simonsen's Memory Be A Blessing.
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Feb 17, 19 5:41 PM
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Feb 17, 19 7:24 PM
Thank you for your service and RIP.
By Sturgis (611), Southampton on Feb 18, 19 7:57 AM
Thank you 27East for finally acknowledging one of our own. On that note, I think Southampton PD is ill prepared to deal with what’s going to happen in their jurisdiction on Wednesday. The article states they are anticipating 10,000 people for the funeral. That number is extremely low for a line of duty death. There will be officers from departments as far away as Hawaii showing up. There could be upwards to 40,000 people standing on montauk highway Wednesday. It will be something to see and ...more
By DiseaseDiocese (668), Riverhead on Feb 18, 19 8:35 AM
4 members liked this comment
And he will be buried in Jamesport. I have yet to see any indication of road closures for that (and most of the drive is still in Southampton town - shouldn't 24 and 105 northbound be slated for closure?)
By susgeek (41), Speonk on Feb 18, 19 6:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
It looks like no organization was "ill prepared" and a fine job was done in trying circumstances by all involved. Your nattering negativity is unfounded and unseemly. Trust me on this one.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Feb 21, 19 1:59 AM
2 members liked this comment
Myself and a few friends would like to offer our guest rooms for the night(s) to officers/personal, is there anyone we should contact?
By Bond007 (22), Hampton Bays on Feb 18, 19 1:17 PM
May God Bless Detective Simonsen, and his family.
By Jimion (129), Hampton Bays on Feb 18, 19 4:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
RIP....my prayers are with your family/friends. Thankyou for your service/dedication.
By mtkfishman (76), montauk on Feb 19, 19 8:37 AM
R.I.P. Brian. Police work is not easy and comes with great risk. Condolences to the Simonsen family
By Moral Dolphin (50), Southampton on Feb 20, 19 3:20 AM
May perpetual light shine upon you forever.
By mtk4ever (9), montauk on Feb 21, 19 7:11 AM
1 member liked this comment
I am still in awe of what I witnessed on Wednesday. The show of support for the Simonsen family by all the men & women in blue was something I will never forget. We hear so much criticism of the police; but we must remember that, like all of us, they have a job to do. And let's not forget that when we need help the police are the ones we call. Be safe men & women in blue. Thank you for your service & may God watch over all of you. My heartfelt sympathy to Det. Simonsen's family & all those who ...more
By Auntie am (5), Center Moriches on Feb 22, 19 9:30 AM
2 members liked this comment
Thank you Hampton Bays for doing such a great job of honoring this fine officer. Such a terrible loss.
By country joe (60), sag harbor on Feb 22, 19 11:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
Rest easy Smiles, Till I see you again bud. Forever watch over family and friends. Thank you who supported this day as we said our last good bye's to a friend and to some family and co-worker. Thank you Hampton Bays and STPD for a Great Job with this tossed in your lap to prepare in 3-5 days.

Hand Salute
By 1640sWhaler (74), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on Feb 27, 19 5:26 PM