Thursday, 4:30 PM
Manchester, N.H. police commemorate fallen officer
(Janet Knott/Globe Staff)
Manchester, N.H., police Officer Michael Bergeron held a boxed flag today in memory of Officer Michael L. Briggs, who prosecutors allege was shot and killed by a former Boston resident who was arrested in an apartment in Dorchester.
By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff
The Manchester Police Department today retired the badge of Officer Michael L. Briggs, who was shot to death while on duty in New Hampshire's largest city Oct. 17.
A five year veteran who was decorated for heroism for helping rescue people from a burning building in 2004, Briggs wore badge number 83. That number will never be assigned to another officer.
Chief John A. Jaskolka said the badge and other mementos of Briggs will be kept in what he called the department's "Hall of Fame" at the Chestnut Street headquarters.
"From this point forward, we are celebrating the life who Mike Briggs was," Jaskolka told the Globe in a telephone interview today.
Prosecutors have charged a former Boston resident with shooting Briggs at 3 a.m. as the officer was investigating a domestic violence complaint. Michael "Stix" Addison pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and is being held without bail in New Hampshire. Authorities are seeking the death penalty.
Governor John Lynch said at the ceremony that Briggs' badge should be retired because the officer who once wore it was unique.
"His service cannot be replicated," the governor said, according to a copy of his prepared remarks provided by his staff. "Just as Michael was unique, Badge number 83 is uniquely his ... He patrolled these streets with honor, dignity and courage. He was a hero in his professional life, and as his family can tell you, he was a hero in his personal life."
A plague and photograph of Briggs will greet visitors in the lobby of police headquarters, joining tributes to the three other Manchester officers who died in the line of duty, the chief said.
Briggs' widow, Laura, was presented with the American flag that flew over headquarters on Oct. 17, the day her husband was murdered.
Briggs served in the Marine Corps and his family was also given a US Marine Corps flag that flew over the New Hampshire state house for the past several years, the department said.
After his death, Briggs was awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest municipal honor.
Before joining the department, Briggs worked as a correction officer for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department and was the father of two sons.
"He was a loving husband ... He was involved with his family, he was involved with his kids," said the chief. "Mike was a great guy."