EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WWLP) – First Responders from across New England traveled to East Hartford Friday for the funeral of the two fallen Bristol Police Officers.
Thousands poured into Renchtler Field at Pratt and Whitney Stadium in East Hartford Friday to say a final farewell to Lt. Dustin Demonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy both killed in the line of duty.
“Going to work and just doing your job… you don’t know what situation you’ll be dispatched to or sent to,” said Patrolman Bruce Celico from Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
The two officers were called to reports of a domestic disturbance in a residential part of Bristol the night of October 12th. Police say the 911 call was fake, and the officers were caught in an ambush. Both Demonte and Hamzy were shot and killed.
Retired Police Officer Wayne Lanarse told 22News, “It’s a brotherhood. We ride all over the country connecting with other officers.”
Lanarse is a member of the Renegade Pigs Motorcycle Club, a group made up of former and current first responders. Not only do they ride their motorcycles together, they bond over their experiences. They also attend benefits and funerals to support those on the frontlines and their families.
“Across the country, day after day there’s police officers getting killed,” said Lanarse.
Westfield Police Chief Lawrence Valliere said the events in Bristol are a sharp reminder of what officers face every day, “It reminds you that every day we come out here… there’s a chance that something tragic can happen. There’s no boundaries for this type of crime.” He continued to say “You do your best to try to avoid these types of situations but sometimes they’re unavoidable.”
The Westfield Police Department wasn’t the only local police that attended the funeral. Springfield Police Officers on motorcycles led two buses down Pearl Street heading to Bristol. They say they are showing support for their colleagues who lost their lives in that ambush attack.
“We show up everyday. We show up on Christmas. We show up on Easter. We show up on the Fourth of July. We do our jobs. We do our jobs when our colleagues die. We do our jobs when we get sick. We show up for the people who have entrusted us with their care,” said Springfield Police Captain Brian Keenan.
Chicopee Police, Amherst Police and UMass Police left in a convoy from the Basketball Hall of Fame. Members of the NYPD and departments in Rhode Island also made the trip to support their fallen brothers.
The massive turnout for Lt. Demonte and Sgt. Hamzy was an indicator of their impact on the community and the magnitude of their sacrifice.