CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Chicopee is mourning the death of a decorated Officer Angela Santiago, who died Tuesday in an off-duty motorcycle crash in Connecticut.
People in Chicopee are saying nothing but good things about Officer Santiago and the impact she had on this community in her five years in the force. Not only was Officer Santiago a decorated officer, but she was also a U.S. Army veteran.
On Tuesday, Chicopee lost a very well-liked and respected police officer. Officer Santiago was killed riding her motorcycle with her twin sister on I-91 in East Windsor, Connecticut. Angela Santiago had just celebrated her 33rd birthday, two weeks before the crash.
Community members have been placing flowers on it right here at the entrance of the police station. A procession was also held for Officer Santiago as her body was brought back home to western Massachusetts.
Police departments including Connecticut State Police, State Police, Holyoke Police, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Sturbridge Police, and Springfield Police helped escort the late officer back home.
She had a tremendous impact on this community from her very first day in the force. Santiago served as Chicopee High School’s police resource officer.
“I remember her in the cafeteria during the school year. She was always so sweet she was such a great presence,” said Chicopee High School student Jill Kazeroid. “We are really going to miss her.”
Their principal is astounded at how many lives she touched in such a short period of time.
“I was amazed she hadn’t been here long, and the teachers were like yeah she came into the class and talked to the kids, yeah we worked out together, yeah we were growing plants together,” said Carol Kruser, principal of Chicopee High School. “And I was like how did one person get close to so many people and so many students in such a short period of time. It just shows her dynamic personality.”
Officer Santiago graduated from Chicopee High the same year as Master Sgt. Luis Deleon-Figueroa, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan last year.
Both the high school and the police department are planning to hold a vigil for Officer Santiago soon, so the community can come together to pay their respects.
Several police departments across Massachusetts and city officials offered their condolences on social media: