If you have ever walked through the ground floor of the Medical School Building, you have undoubtedly encountered the welcoming and watchful UTPD Officer L.E. Simmons.

Officer Simmons, as he is known throughout the school, is retiring from The University of Texas Police Department effective March 31, 2016, following a 32-year tenure. He has worked 24 of those years at the Medical School Building.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.

Officer Simmons not only manned the guard’s desk, he patrolled the building, helped employees get into their locked offices, and always made time for a chat.

“Conversations with people here is what I’ll miss the most. You come out for 8 hours on a job, but you get to know people and their concerns,” he said.

Officer Simmons said the school has changed a lot over the years, and was most impacted by Tropical Storm Allison. “I worked throughout the whole ordeal – coming in the next day seeing the devastation of the water and people in tears,” he recalled.

Seeing the students graduate and working in the community and meeting “a lot of good people” is what Officer Simmons said have been the most rewarding parts of his job.

The McGovern Medical School community is invited to Officer Simmons’ retirement celebration 3:30-4:30 p.m., Monday, March 28 in the Leather Lounge.

“Officer Simmons has been such an integral part of McGovern Medical School for so many years,” said Nancy McNiel, Ph.D., associate dean for administrative affairs.  “Everyone who comes in contact with him appreciates his kindness, his professionalism, and his willingness to help everyone.

“Our security officers are frequently the first people visitors meet in the school.  Officer Simmons has played a critical role in setting our culture as being welcoming and helpful to visitors, employees, students, and residents.  We will miss his presence greatly and anticipate that his legacy will continue.”

Officer Simmons said he looks forward to traveling with his wife and spending time with his one-year old grandbaby and a new one on the way.