SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Officials say thousands of law enforcement officers will line the streets of Worcester Thursday for the funeral of Officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia, who died in the line-of-duty last Friday. Police officers from western Massachusetts were among those traveling to Worcester to show their respects.
Members of the Springfield, West Springfield, and Chicopee police departments met around 6:30 A.M. to board buses provided by Peter Pan Bus Lines. They departed at around 7:00 A.M. to be a part of Familia’s procession route.
“It shows not only that you care, but shows support for the family, the community they served – specifically today Worcester – Worcester officers, and we all come together to show support for our fellow fallen brother,” said Det. Danusia Liszka of the Chicopee Police Department.
Worcester’s City Manager’s office says they are expecting anywhere from 5,000-10,000 officers to attend Thursday’s procession; some from as far away as Ireland.
Following the procession, officers will go to Polar Park, home of the Worcester Red Sox, to view the funeral Mass, which is happening at nearby St. John’s Catholic Church.
In Springfield, local officials are thinking of Officer Familia Thursday. In a statement, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said “Officer Familia was a brave and dedicated sentinel of peace who gave the ultimate sacrifice while attempting to save a life. This selfless sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood said “Officer Familia made the ultimate sacrifice rescuing others in the community he served.”
The Springfield Police Department has experienced this kind of pain. A memorial outside the Police Department commemorates the lives of officers who have been killed in the line of duty. The most recent was Kevin Ambrose, who was killed while protecting a mother and her child.
“We’ve had several officers die in Springfield over the years,” said Capt. Brian Keenan. “Worcester came out big for Kevin Ambrose and we’re going to return it. There’s over 100 Springfield officers making the trek to Worcester for the funeral services today.”
22News will have continuing coverage of Officer Familia’s funeral throughout the day on air, online at WWLP.com, and on the 22News Mobile App.