About 100 police officers from around southern New Hampshire, including Nashua Police Chief John Seusing, made the somber trek to Boston Wednesday morning to participate in two events honoring fallen MIT officer Sean Collier, who was shot and killed Thursday.
Off-duty and some on-duty officers from the Nashua, Hudson and Merrimack police departments felt compelled to honor Officer Collier, 26, who was shot and killed in his patrol car last week, allegedly by the two brothers wanted for the Boston Marathon bombing.
Today is the first time since last year that many police officers in New Hampshire have worn their dress uniforms to honor a fallen comrade. Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was slain during a drug raid a little more than a year ago.
Sgt. Randy Dumais of the Nashua Police Department, who could not attend today's services because he is on duty, said every member of the department would go down to Boston if they could. "It is obviously a tragedy anytime an officer is killed in the line of duty," Dumais said.
Early this morning, Nashua officers crowded onto a city bus to travel to Boston, but so many officers arrived that the bus couldn't fit everyone, so several officers drove down in marked units. Along with officers donning their dress uniforms, the department's honor guard was also dispatched to honor Collier at events at the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass., and Shriner's Auditorium in Wilmington, Mass.
Sgt. Tad Dionne of the Hudson Police Department said roughly 10 off-duty and on-duty officers from his department traveled to Boston today. Dionne said all officers share a very powerful bond with one another, a bond that in many ways is borne from fear. "Ultimately we all feel that it could be any of one of us, it's dangerous everywhere, there is no safe area, so we feel a real sense of brotherhood."
Dionne added that Hudson also sent their honor guard to honor Collier. "We attend all local funerals. It's obviously a somber mood for the officers, but I think it is important that these things occur. It helps support the families of the slain officers and others involved. It lets them know they that they are not alone," Dumais said.