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April 22. 2013 9:12PM

NH police plan to attend service for fallen MIT officer

Police officers in New Hampshire are making plans to attend a memorial service Wednesday for the police officer who authorities say was brutally murdered Thursday night by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Police departments in Belmont, Dover, Gilford and Keene said officers were discussing how best to go to the service for Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean Collier.

Keene Police Sgt. Jason Short said his department will be sending "at least four of our people," adding that "a lot of off-duty officers will probably go on their own."

"None of us like going to any of these, but it's a brother we lost in service," Short said. "This one is particularly tough because it hit so close to home."

The service, which was announced on the MIT website on Monday, will honor Collier, 26, who was shot multiple times in a late-night confrontation with Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, police said.

Collier, a Wilmington, Mass., native, started working at MIT in January 2012. On Thursday night at 10:20 p.m., gunshots were reported on campus. Soon after, Collier was found shot in his vehicle, outside the school's Stata Center. He was later pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Police said he was killed execution-style in his cruiser, having not drawn his weapon.

The service will be held at noon at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., with law enforcement officers expected from all over the country. The funeral and the wake will be private at the family's request, according to the MIT announcement.

Belmont police will likely send six to 10 officers to the service, Lt. Richard Mann said, in what may be a caravan of officers from the Lakes Region.

"It hit all of us especially hard, particularly the way he died," Mann said. "It's terrible."

Gilford Police Chief Kevin Keenan said his department would likely be sending officers as well.

"It was a horrific set of events, I think it's appropriate that we send people," he said. "It's another fellow police officer we have lost."

Dover Police Capt. Bill Breault said, "It's safe to say we'll have a number of officers there.

"Any time a member of law enforcement dies, it's tough; they're all tough to go to," Breault added. "This was a tremendous sacrifice by one of our fellow officers."

Police officers from the state's largest forces also will be represented. Manchester, Laconia and Concord police will send contingents to the service. New Hampshire State Police also will be represented.

dseufert@newstote.com


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