19 Jul Simi Valley Police Officer Nicole Anderson
Sunday afternoon, I was notified that 8 year veteran Simi Valley Police Officer Nicole Anderson had likely been killed in a private plane accident in Winslow, Arizona. Late Sunday night, the news was confirmed. Nicole and her boyfriend, Anaheim Police Officer Brian Hayes, were on their way back from a weekend in Colorado with Nicole’s father. Upon takeoff, the plane seemed to lose power, came down and flipped upside down, killing Nicole and Brian instantly.
As a Chaplain with the SVPD for 11 years, I have been on countless death notifications and dead body calls. I have officiated a few funerals for family members of some Officers. I have not had the experience of losing one of our current officers. It was surreal.
Each of our SVPD Chaplains made rounds through the many briefings that take place each day. Monday morning, I attended the 6:00 am briefing to pray and be present to support any of our Officers and civilian employees that had need. The mood around the station was expectedly sad and deeply somber. Some knew Nicole better than others, but we have NO ONE that did NOT know Nicole. We were all touched by her kindness, grace, gentleness, generosity and humor. You couldn’t really be in a room with Nicole and walk out NOT knowing her.
Through the day, I became involved in meeting with her family and was eventually asked to officiate her funeral. Many wonder how I do this job and comment on how difficult it must be. I won’t say it’s not a hard job, but to do what I do is, to me, a tremendous honor. I get invited to walk with people through some of the darkest moments of their lives, and that’s a real privilege to me. One I don’t take lightly.
The celebration of Nicole’s life will take place on Tuesday, July 26 at 10:30 am at Simi Covenant Church with a reception immediately following. We have no idea how many will be there, but I doubt there will be many, if any, empty seats.
I appreciate your prayers for Nicole’s family, Brian’s family, and the entire Simi Valley Police Department family!
P.S. I proudly follow in the footsteps of men like Frank Witman (our 1st SVPD Chaplain, who passed away in 2010) and Kurt Fredrickson (our current Supervising Chaplain and former Pastor of Simi Covenant Church). These men have mentored me in Chaplaincy. I am honored to walk alongside Kurt and our 3 other active SVPD Chaplains in days like this. No one should do anything like this alone!