In Memory of Police Officer James Edward Simonetti

In Memory of Police Officer James Edward Simonetti

Pennsylvania residents were disheartened to hear that another local officer had been lost to the COVID19 pandemic. The coronavirus had become the number one cause of line of duty deaths among law enforcement officers in the US.

On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, Police Officer James Edward Simonetti died due to complications resulting from contracting COVID19. Simonetti most likely contracted the virus while on the job. Policing is a brutal occupation in the pandemic as it does not allow for social distancing. Officer Simonetti was 53 years old.

The American people needed some to continue due to their duties during quarantine because they were considered essential workers. Police or law enforcement officers are part of the necessary and needed first-responder workforce. If a pandemic meant the loss of these individuals, there would be a more significant catastrophe as the country turned to anarchy. Instead, officers like Simonetti kept everyone safe during the pandemic, putting their own lives and families on the line. These officers are all heroes.

It was noted that Simonetti most likely contracted the virus while working at the Carnegie Mellon University Campus in Pittsburgh. Officer Simonetti served the community and the university as a Carnegie Mellon University Police Department member for more than 25 years.

Carnegie Mellon University Police Department, Pennsylvania

Officer Simonetti was the proud wearer of badge number 20 for the Carnegie Mellon University Police Department. The CMUPD is a fully accredited law enforcement agency that provides protection and security to staff and students of Carnegie Mellon University.

The agency has a dispatch center that answers more than 13000 calls each year. The campus has a relatively low crime rate. The department keeps the community safe with a staff of 30 sworn police officers and 45 security guards. Officers perform mobile, foot, bike, and motorcycle patrols. Security guards are generally at designated stations.


Police Officer James Edward Simonetti leaves behind his wife and five children. The Simonetti family joins the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus pandemic. Family, friends, neighbors, students, and staff will all continue to support the Simonetti family and share gratitude for the sacrifice made on their behalf.

The Carnegie Mellon University Police Department announced the loss online. “The Carnegie Mellon University community mourns the loss of veteran CMU Police Officer James Simonetti, who died Wednesday, October 13, after an extended stay in the hospital due to illness. He was 53.”

Heather Simonetti, his wife, shared what type of person Officer Simonetti had been. “Jim was an all-around wonderful husband and a devoted father. He had the greatest witty personality and sense of humor, and I’m sure his colleagues at CMU will attest to that. He’s going to be sorely missed by all of us.”

CMU Chief Tom Ogden shared his condolences and thoughts on the loss of Officer Simonetti. “Jim Simonetti was a loyal and trusted member of our department whose service was tragically cut short by the pandemic. I could always rely on him to help in any way that was needed. He mentored and coached dozens of officers during his service at CMU. He once told me when I arrived here that our role was to keep our students safe so they could go on to do great things. That summarizes our department’s mission and Jim’s service to Carnegie Mellon. It won’t be the same without him.”