SOMERVILLE — Sean Collier, the MIT police officer allegedly killed by the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, posthumously received Thursday an honor he had long sought: a Somerville police officer’s badge.
Collier, who was 26 when he was shot to death in his police cruiser in Cambridge April 18, was officially appointed an officer Thursday night at Somerville City Hall. His badge and a framed uniform were presented to his family.
“We all have our dreams; Sean Collier’s dream was to become a Somerville police officer,” Somerville Police Chief Thomas Pasquarello said Thursday. “I think it says a lot about Sean that even death could not stop him from this goal.”
The ceremony was attended by police from around the state, including Richard Donohue, the MBTA police officer shot during the pursuit of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev a few hours after Collier’s death. State and local officials and Collier’s family also attended.
“Sean has been called many things over the past four months, but one of the things Sean would be the most proud to be called is a great cop,” said Collier’s brother, Andrew. “This would make Sean so proud.”
Collier previously worked as an auxiliary Somerville police officer from 2006 to 2009, becoming the youngest auxiliary sergeant in department history, said Mayor Joseph Curtatone of Somerville. He later worked as a records clerk and in the department’s information technology department while attending the police academy.
“For someone who only lived here a few years, you’d think he had been here a lifetime,” Curtatone said. “He touched so many lives; he crossed so many paths.”
‘It says a lot about Sean that even death could not stop him from this goal.’
Collier started as a police officer at MIT in January 2012, his first job as an officer after completing police academy training.
Pasquarello previously said the city had offered Collier a job before his death, and he was expected to be officially hired in June.
In May, Curtatone and the city’s Board of Aldermen sent a formal request to the State House, asking that Collier be made a Somerville police officer. It was approved by the Legislature, and Governor Deval Patrick signed off on the request in late May.
The honor is ceremonial and does not provide any retroactive pension or benefits, said a city spokeswoman.
Collier’s badge number, 310, will remain unused by the Somerville Police Department in his memory.Jarret Bencks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.