A tough weekend for Worcester police and the close-knit community. One year ago on Saturday marked the anniversary death of Worcester Police Officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia.
Sunday morning, the police department remembered Officer Familia and 14 other past and present Worcester police officers who died in 2021. Taps, the national anthem, bagpipes and bells could be heard in the city for the emotional ceremony.
The bells rang out for one of each of the 15 Worcester police officers who passed away last year. They were remembered for their service and sacrifice to the community outside police headquarters Sunday morning.
Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent read each of the 15 names including “Officer Ignacio Garcia, End of Watch 9/4/2021, Officer Enmanuel Familia, End Of Watch 6/4/2021.”
Officer Manny Familia died a hero on June 4, 2021, attempting to rescue 14-year-old Troy Love, who also drowned at Green Hill Park Pond in the city. On Saturday there was a private dedication ceremony and the road leading to the water was renamed” Officer Manny Familia Way.”
Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent said this loss is tremendous, and he is grateful for how the community embraced his officers, as well as the widow, children and family of Officer Familia.
“There’s no guarantee. It just goes to show it is never a given, each day is a blessing,” added Chief Sargent.
Boston 25 News spoke with Raymond Brunelle of Oxford about Officers Garcia and Familia.
“To do what he did and that’s the epitome of being a police officer. Oh my god a hero, 100 percent a hero. I also was friends with Iggy too, he passed away from cancer, two brave patrolmen,” stated Brunelle.
Brunelle played cornhole with Worcester Police Officer Iggy Garcia, the 46-year-old who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer three months after Officer Familia’s line of duty death.
Nick Belsito, the brother-in-law of Officer Garcia, said “to our family personally he was literally the world, the greatest person I’ve ever known or met. The impact he made is really remarkable.”
Similar feelings for Raymond Brunelle, here with his family for his late uncle retired Worcester Police Officer Anthony Martello, who died in August.
“Oh my god he loved being a police officer and he spoke so highly of it. His whole heart was with the police. He was my favorite uncle.”
Gone but never forgotten, always remembered by this community, the department and their families.
“It’s sad, his legacy lives on. My niece who is 6 years old is probably the bravest, and my sister the outlook they have is really remarkable,” said Belsito on behalf of his late brother-in-law.
One year ago today Officer Manny Familia drowned in the pond at Green Hill Park while attempting to rescue a teenager.
“Today we join together to honor his courage and express gratitude for his service and ultimate sacrifice,” said Chief Steven M. Sargent. pic.twitter.com/50W1smKOsn
— Worcester PD (@WorcesterPD) June 4, 2022
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