HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A gunman ended Officer John Dinapoli’s life when he fatally wounded the fifty-one-year-old officer on December 22nd, 1999.
Hundreds carrying blue light candles out of respect and affection clustered around the DiNapolic plaza at the edge of Heritage state park in the shadow of police headquarters to the slain officers’ memory.
Family friends and law enforcement brothers remembered DiNapoli’s service as a police officer.
Retired Holyoke Police Department Detective Kevin Boyle told 22News that Dinapoli will never be forgotten.
“He gave his life for us, and the people of this community. He’ll never be forgotten, not for a single day,” said Boyle.
Jean Fitzgerald, a dear friend of Officer DiNapoli, told 22News that DiNapoli was a hero.
“John was an awesome person, he was funny, he was a dear friend and he rescued me from a terrible situation,” said Fitzgerald. “He was a dear friend and hero.” The monument depicting John DiNapoli with a child at his side salutes the late officer serving as an inspiration to young people.
Police Chaplain Father William Hamilton delivered a stirring message to the hundreds attending the memorial service. “We must stop the violence. We must bring the peace into the neighborhood,” said Father Hamilton.
Fellow officers saluted their fallen brother, a wreath was placed at the foot of the monument at Dinapoli plaza.
Officer John DiNapoli has not been forgotten, as a fellow officer put it, not for a single day.