Thousands expected at slain MIT officer's service
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WHDH) -- Thousands of Massachusetts Institute of Technology students, faculty and staff as well as law enforcement officials from across the nation are expected to attend a memorial service for fallen campus police officer Sean Collier.
MIT officials say they are expecting as many as 10,000 people at Wednesday's service at Briggs Field.
“You’ll see a sea of uniforms like you’ve never seen before. If there’s any indication of the phone calls that have come in to the Cambridge Police Department and MIT Police Department, it is going to be an incredible tribute to him. Just the community members alone that are coming from MIT is upwards of 10,000 and we don’t how many law enforcement but I’ve got to believe it’s got to be close to the same number,” said MIT Police Chief John DiFava.
Authorities think the 27-year-old Collier was shot and killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects last Thursday.
Collier had worked for the MIT police for a little over a year, but was already well-respected by his colleagues and superiors, and popular with students. He often went on hikes with the MIT student outing club.
Chief DiFava said that Officer Collier embraced the philosophy of ‘community police’.
“The other day I received an email from him, I’ll probably have it for an awful long time, where he asked me if I had a problem with him getting involved in a local homeless shelter and you know that really struck me and I can’t get it out of my mind. I don’t know about the rest of you but every time I take my son to a game in town you see someone with a Dunkin Donuts cup, I cross the street - he [Officer Collier] wanted to enter their lives,” said Chief DiFava.
Chief DiFava said the outpouring of support has been ‘staggering’. He also praised Cambridge Police from their support of the MIT police community.
Vice President Joe Biden, as well as MIT President L. Rafael Reif, police chief John DiFava and members of Collier's family are scheduled to speak.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.