The MIT police officer allegedly killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects has been posthumously sworn in as a Somerville officer.
More than 40 uniformed police officers packed Somerville City Hall Thursday night to pay tribute to Sean Collier, who was shot and killed on April 18, sparking the manhunt that led to the death of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the arrest of his brother, Dzhokhar.
Collier had spent years working with the Somerville Police Department, as an intern, an auxiliary volunteer and a civilian employee. He was due to be sworn in as an officer in June.
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone says Collier left an imprint on the city.
“In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, we’ve learned a lot about Sean Collier. We learned for a guy who’d only been here several years, you would’ve thought he’d been here a lifetime because he touched so many lives, he crossed so many paths,” Curtatone said. “Just look at this room. It is a small but significant testimony to the impact he had on those he served with.”
After a unanimous vote, with one alderman absent, Mayor Curtatone and Deputy Police Chief Michael Cabral unveiled a framed police officer’s uniform with Collier’s photograph, complete with its own badge.
Andrew Collier says his family is grateful for the honor and recognition his brother has received.
“Sean has been called many things over the past four months,” he said. “He’s been called a hero, honorable, selfless, a brother, a son and a great friend. But one of the things Sean would be most proud of to be called is a great cop.”
Brandon Kelly, a lifelong friend of Collier’s, recounted playing cops and robbers as children. He says Collier always played the cop.
“He was my best friend. He was my brother. He should be here,” Kelly said.
For MBTA Police Officer Richard Donahue, who was critically injured during a shootout with the suspects the same night Collier was murdered, the posthumous recognition is a reminder of what mattered to Collier.
“Not all of us can do our dreams and achieve those. He loved being a police officer, he loved the city of Somerville. So I’m glad I could be here tonight. It’s an honor,” said Donahue, who had met Collier at the police academy.
Collier was assigned badge number 310, which was then retired.