Yates County Sheriff’s Department Youth Officer Richard “Rick” Simpson was named 7th District American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year during the Legion District’s Annual Convention held Saturday, June 8 at the Daniel Goho Post #87, Dansville. The award was presented by 7th District Commander Tim Coll-mer.

Simpson was recognized for apprehending a murder suspect in 2018 at Dresden, where he was the first officer on the scene of the crime where a woman had been bludgeoned to death. Simpson encountered the suspect near the crime scene and took him into custody. He was also cited for his work as the School Resource Officer at Dundee Central School and drug abuse resistance education (DARE) instructor.

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and 1983 graduate of Penn Yan Academy, Simpson joined the Yates County Sheriff’s Office as a Corrections Officer in 1991 following his military service.

During his career, he and another deputy saved the life of a 24-year old using the AED instrument after his heart had stopped. In addition, he was first Deputy on the scene in 2017 when the body of a Rochester murder victim had been dumped in a wooded area in the Town of Jerusalem.

Simpson is the Sheriff’s Department Youth Officer, serving as School Resource Officer for the Dundee Central School, where he also volunteers. He is a past chief and active member of the Penn Yan Fire Department. 

He was honored by the Johnson Costello Post in Penn Yan earlier this year as the Deputy of the Year. 

The 7th District of the American Legion consists of all the American Legion Posts eight counties: Yates, Seneca, Ontario, Wayne, Monroe, Cayuga, Livingston, and Steuben. The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans organization