Gov. Patrick signs bill posthumously appointing slain MIT Patrol Officer Sean Collier as a Somerville officer

Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill today posthumously appointing MIT Patrol Officer Sean A. Collier as a Somerville police officer, a position the 27-year-old had dreamed of before he was shot to death last month.

This image obtained from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shows MIT Patrol Officer Sean A. Collier, 26, who MIT has identified as the the police officer killed in the line of duty on April 18, 2013. Responding to a disturbance on the MIT campus, Collier was shot after confronting two gunmen and died later at a local hospital, according to MIT officials. The two gunmen were later identified by authorities as the suspects sought in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. bombing == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE / MANDATORY CREDIT: "AFP PHOTO / Massachusetts Institute of Technology / NO SALES / NO MARKETING / NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS / DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==-/AFP/Getty Images
MIT Patrol Officer Sean A. CollierAFP/Getty Images

Police believe Boston Marathon bomb suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly shot Collier while he sat in his police cruiser the night of April 18 — a month and a half before he was scheduled to complete his training and earn his Somerville police badge.

“Officer Collier was a true hero and this deserving designation is a small token to honor his memory and his sacrifices,” Patrick said in a statement.

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Collier joined the MIT police in January 2012 and worked as the webmaster for the Somerville police while enrolled at the MBTA Transit Police Academy. He was on pace to become a Somerville officer June 3.

“Sean Collier was a dedicated civilian employee in the Somerville Police Department, an honorable member of the MIT Police Department and a tremendous Somerville resident,” Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said in a statement.

“He gave so much of himself and his time to our department these last six years, and I’m honored to bestow this honor upon him,” Curtatone said.

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