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Aiken Public Safety honors late officer Kevin Simmons for service

Aiken Standard - 5/13/2022

May 13—An Aiken police officer who died in August 2021 following a COVID-19 outbreak at a joint firefighting training class was honored by the Aiken Department of Public Safety and the City of Aiken on Wednesday night.

Kevin Simmons, 43, was posthumously granted the Mike Harvey Award for service Wednesday during an annual awards banquet. The award was presented to his widow, Christi Simmons.

The Mike Harvey Award is the highest award granted by the department to an individual's spouse or other family member when an officer or firefighter loses their life in the line of duty.

Simmons began his career with Aiken Public Safety on May 10, 2021, as a public safety officer in training. He was attending a joint firefighting training class hosted by Aiken Public Safety during the last week of July. The Aiken Department of Public Safety and North Augusta Department of Public Safety participated.

During the class, the participants were exposed to COVID-19, and Simmons tested positive on Aug. 3. He was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator until Aug. 15, when he lost his battle with the illness. He left behind his wife, three children, two grandchildren, his parents, siblings and friends.

North Augusta Public Safety Officer Dustin Michael Beasley, 30, who also attended the class, died shortly after Simmons on Aug. 30.

Beasley started his career at the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office and served in the Williston Police Department and the South Carolina Highway Patrol before joining NADPS in December 2020.

Other awards presented

Sgt. Joseph O'Conor was named Officer of the Year.

Public Safety Officer Joseph Smithers was named Rookie of the Year.

Jackie Beason received the "NOVA" Award: Aiken Public Safety's New Shining Star.

Clint Brown was named Employee of the Year.


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