WORCESTER, Mass. — Police from across Massachusetts joined in a procession to honor Worcester Police Officer Emanuel “Manny” Familia Saturday morning. Officer Familia drowned Friday trying to save a 14-year-old boy from Green Hill Pond.
Officers from Worcester, Littleton, Holden, Fitchburg, Shrewsbury, West Boylston, Massachusetts State Police, and more joined in the procession to escort Officer Familia’s body from UMass Memorial Medical Center to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
“We’re here to support him and to say to the families our condolences, we’re sorry,” said William Breault, who lives in Worcester and came out to watch the procession and pay his respects. “With all the trouble the police department receives now, it’s not hard for us to come out in the morning and show support for both families. God bless the Worcester Police Department.”
On Facebook, Police Chief Steven Sargent called Familia a “true hero” and said his death is “one of the hardest things” anyone in his department has ever had to deal with.
“The loss of Officer Enmanuel (Manny) Familia has been one of the hardest things any of us has had to deal with in our careers,” Sargent said. “We lost a true hero and the pain we feel from this loss has been overwhelming. But the outpouring of support that we have received over the past 24- hours has given us strength, comfort and has inspired us.”
“On behalf of the men and women of the Worcester Police Department, I want to thank each of you for the support you have shown us during this very difficult time. Not one act of kindness has gone unnoticed. The love and support you have given us will carry us through the challenges that lie ahead. I ask that you continue to keep Manny’s beautiful family in your thoughts and prayers. Together, we will get through this as a community and as a family,” Sargent said.
Familia was a five-year veteran of the Worcester Police Department and leaves behind a wife and two children.
A GoFundMe account that has been set up for the family of Familia had raised more than $13,000 as of 5 p.m. Saturday.
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