Prince Georges Police Captain and Wife Indicted in Theft Scheme; She got six months in jail; charges against him dismissed
UPDATE: SCROLL TO BOTTOM OF ARTICLE TO SEE UPDATED INFORMATION – CHARGES AGAINST HAROLD SIMMS DISMISSED, CORPORAL SIMMS GOT SIX MONTHS IN JAIL
UPPER MARLBORO, MD. – Corporal Punishment is in the offing in a case of alleged police corruption, say police.
Prince Georges Police report that a suspended Prince George’s County Police officer was indicted by a grand jury on March 22, 2016, along with her husband, a retired PG County Police Captain.
Corporal Jennifer Simms faces two charges of felony theft scheme over $100,000 and conspiracy. The allegations occurred during the years of 2012-2014.
The Prince George’s County Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division launched an exhaustive investigation, estimated at 3,000 man hours, after learning of the allegations in December of 2014.
Corporal Simms’ police powers were suspended in May of 2015. Retired Captain Harold Simms, who was married to Cpl. Simms at the time was also indicted. He also faces two counts of felony theft scheme over $100,000 and conspiracy. Simms retired in June of 2015 while the criminal probe was underway.
Police Chief Hank Stawinski issued this statement following the grand jury indictment:
“We brought this case to the State’s Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal charges against Corporal Simms and retired Captain Harold Simms. If proven true, Corporal Simms and the retired captain not only betrayed our community, but they also betrayed this badge. We have checks and balances in place to ensure that officers are properly compensated for their work. This appears to be an aggressive, isolated act of greed.”
Corporal Simms had been employed by the PGPD for 13 years and was assigned to the Regional Investigation Division (Central Region) when the allegations occurred. Retired Captain Simms had been with the department for 18 years and was assigned to the Regional Investigation Division (Northern Region) when the allegations occurred. At no time did the retired captain have any supervision over Cpl. Simms.
Simms cited for valor in capturing crazed PCP suspect in chase
On July 5, 2012, PGPD officers responded to the 4700 block of Lakeland Road in College Park for the report of a man under the influence of PCP threatening his family with a gun. Corporal Swonger arrived and saw the suspect walking his mother down the street, with a semi-automatic handgun pointed at her back. Corporal Swonger got out of his cruiser and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon. The suspect turned and began firing at Corporal Swonger. Corporal Swonger immediately returned fire. Additional officers arrived on the scene and tried to get control of the suspect who was now lying on the ground; his gun within arm’s reach. Corporal Swonger deployed his Taser. Unfazed, the suspect tried to disarm Corporal Swonger of his Taser. The officers struggled with the suspect, but he was able to get loose and run away.
Captain Simms immediately got into his cruiser and followed the suspect as he ran down the middle of the four-lane roadway. The suspect eventually ran onto the sidewalk, at which time he reached into his pocket and removed an object which was believed to be another firearm. He then turned, extended his arm, and pointed the object at pursuing officers. At this time, and facing an imminent threat, Captain Simms, and Officers Tant and Carpenter discharged their duty weapons. The suspect was struck multiple times; however, due to his PCP intoxication, the rounds had no effect, and he continued to resist all attempts to be placed under arrest.
The suspect then ran into the street and jumped into an unoccupied, marked police cruiser. Captain Simms got into his cruiser and was able to block the suspect’s getaway. The suspect then got out of the cruiser and tried to get into another one. Another struggle occurred in an attempt to place the suspect into custody. Despite the fact the suspect was suffering from numerous gunshot wounds, the officers’ attempts to subdue him by deploying OC spray, ASP strikes, and additional Taser deployments proved ineffective. The suspect was eventually able to put the marked cruiser into drive and flee. The suspect crashed a short distance away. With the assistance of approximately 12 additional officers, the suspect was finally placed into custody.
For their courageous actions, while exposed to extreme danger, Corporal Swonger earned a Gold Medal of Valor; Captain Simms earned a Silver Medal of Valor and Corporals Southan and Carpenter, and Officers Tant and Harris earned Bronze Medals of Valor.
Captain Simms was quoted in another crazy days in PG County with a naked PCP user was subdued with use of a Taser
Police defended the use of the Taser. They said that Bah was violent and that taking him down by other means probably would have injured him and officers.
Police said they could not say why Bah allegedly shot his friend. “PCP is the only true motive we can find for this unprovoked attack,” said Capt. Harold Simms, commander of the northern regional investigation division.
The friend, whom police did not identify, was in critical condition at a trauma center; Simms said it appeared he would survive.
Bah, of Castle Ridge Circle in Silver Spring, was charged with more than a dozen crimes, including attempted first- and second-degree murder, assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and multiple handgun violations. He was ordered held without bail until a June 11 hearing.
Police said in charging documents that Bah and his friend were in a silver Honda driven by another man in the 11900 block of Beltsville Drive, on their way to Silver Spring. The driver, who was not injured, told police that Bah “was acting very strangely in that he was screaming randomly and appeared very agitated.” ….MORE
FROM WJLA – UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A former Maryland police officer has been sentenced to six months in jail for lying about being at work when she was at home or on vacation cruises.
The Washington Post reports that Jennifer Simms is expected to report to jail on Friday.
RELATED: Former Prince George’s County Police officers indicted on theft charges
Prosecutors say Simms was paid about $270,000 for work she did not do by the city of College Park and the Prince George’s County Police Department.
Simms entered an Alford plea in response to theft charges. In an Alford plea, a person doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.
Simms’ husband, Harold Simms, is a former police officer facing similar charges and awaiting trial.
THE CASE AGAINST HAROLD SIMMS HAS BEEN DISMISSED, ACCORDING TO COURT RECORDS AS SHOWN ABOVE.