April 24, 2013

Maine unit attends service for MIT officer

Sean Collier was shot dead in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

SCARBOROUGH – A gray mist chilled the Cabela's parking lot Wednesday morning as one after another, cruisers arrived carrying police officers from across the state.

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Hundreds of police from around the region, including from Maine, gather at a memorial for campus police officer Sean Collier in Cambridge on Wednesday. Collier was slain last week in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Photo by Sgt. Michael Edes, Maine State Police

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South Portland police officers were among law enforcement officials from across Maine to assemble at Cabela's in Scarborough on Wednesday for the drive to Cambridge, Mass., to honor Sean Collier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer who police believe was slain by the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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The greetings were cheerful, old friends and former colleagues who see each other infrequently. There would be time enough to dwell on loss.

Roughly 100 Maine officers rode together in a caravan of cruisers to Massachusetts to attend a memorial service for Sean Collier, the MIT officer who authorities say was ambushed and shot to death by the Boston Marathon bombers.

Officers wore a black ribbon over their badges, shields that represent their mission of public safety.

"We're here to show support for a fallen officer," said Lt. Tom Williams, of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

"It's always important, when somebody loses their life in line of duty, the community and more so the family of the fallen officer knows we stand together."

The empathy that showered the city of Boston and the victims of the bombing on Wednesday focused on Collier, killed in the line duty as he responded to a disturbance at the college campus where he worked.

By the time officers arrived in Massachussetts, the weather had turned sunny and bright, but the mood more serious.

Michael Burns, an officer with the Maine State Prison, said the very reason he joined the department's honor guard was to pay tribute to fallen officers.

"Safety never takes a day off and stuff like this really makes that hit home when it's a brother like that," he said. "Whether you are in corrections, state police or campus police, we're all a band of brothers."

Sgt. Michael Edes of the Maine State Police said the Maine officers were attending not just on behalf of law enforcement but for the people of Maine.

"We're here to honor officer Sean Collier and we're also here to honor the people of Boston. We're here to share their grief and what they've gone through and we want them to know not only law enforcement but the people of Maine support the people of Boston," Edes said.

"Our heart's been broken with what they've been going through the last week . . . It's going to be a good start for the healing process," Edes said.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:


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Additional Photos

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Maine State Police Sgt. Michael Edes led police officers from across Maine to drive to Cambridge on Wednesday to honor slain Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer


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