Dave was born and raised in Yakima and the Yakima Valley. While growing up in Yakima, he spent a great deal of time visiting with his grandparents in the Zillah & Toppenish areas. Dave’s grandfather brought the Simmons family to the Zillah area in the 1940’s, where they purchased an orchard and farm in the early 1950’s. Prior to that, the Simmons family were migrant laborers, traveling between California and Washington. The family primarily worked in lettuce and other vegetable crops in California and fruit orchards while in Washington.
Dave’s father worked nights as a police officer for the City of Union Gap and then worked during the day driving tractor for an orchardist in the Sawyer area during much of his youth. Dave’s father, Richard Simmons, retired as the Chief of Police for the city of Union Gap in 1990, before passing from cancer later that year.
While in school, Dave was active in sports and other activities. He was a three year letter winner in football and also recevied multiple athletic letters in wrestling and track. He received honors from the Yakima Kiwanis Club as a Scholar-Athlete, and was an All-League athlete in football and wrestling. Dave was the Big Nine Athletic League District Champion in wrestling. He was a club sport power lifter, finishing 3rd in the State of Washington in the unlimited powerlifting classification. Dave was the sports editor of the Voyager, Davis high school’s student newspaper, as a junior and the editor as a senior.
After high school, Dave attended Eastern Washington University on a football scholarship. While playing football, he started working for the Eastern Washington University’s Police Department as a student patrol officer and a dispatcher. After having several knee surgeries, Dave decided to move on from his athletic endeavors and focused on his law enforcement career. He was awarded a scholarship position with the Cheney Police Department as a 911 Operator and Dispatcher.