Chief: MIT officer 'real deal'
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Slain Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier enjoyed climbing snowy mountains, training young boxers and playing kickball on a team called Kickhopopotamus.
But most of all, he was dedicated to being a police officer.
The baby-faced 26-year-old who authorities say was killed by the Boston Marathon suspects was at MIT for just over a year and impressed students and his colleagues with his contagious enthusiasm, be it offering students rides or volunteering for extra duties.
“Just the other day — and I still have it on my computer — he asked me if I would have a problem if he approached the homeless shelter to see if he could become a member of the board of directors, so that he could work with those people down there and try to mitigate problems before the problems develop,” MIT police Chief John DiFava said Friday.
“The kid was the real deal,” he added.
Investigators say Collier was shot while responding to a report of a disturbance. He was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“Our only solace is that Sean died bravely doing what he committed his life to — serving and protecting others,” his family said in a statement.
MIT says Collier was a native of Wilmington and a Somerville resident who had worked at MIT since January 2012. Before that, he was a civilian employee of the Somerville Police Department — a force he hoped to join one day as an officer.
Collier focused on becoming a police officer after graduating with honors from Salem State University in 2009 with a criminal justice degree. Bob Trane, an alderman in Somerville whose ward includes the home where Collier lived, said the young man contacted him about the process of becoming a police officer.
“He was a young guy with an old soul, mature beyond his years,” Trane said. “He knew what he wanted in life and he was working toward that goal. ... His whole life was focused on going into law enforcement.”
“He was old school — respectful, courteous, dedicated,” Trane said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Suspect in killings of wealthy D.C. family arrested
- Romney throws hat into different ring to fight Holyfield
- 1 critical, 3 hospitalized after fatal Marine Corps crash
- Legislators continue to slow trade proposal
- House OKs 7th straight year without pay raise for Congress
- Senators push for full funding for Amtrak
- Ex-Va. lawmaker plans to wed teen in sex scandal