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MIT announces plans to commemorate slain officer Sean Collier

Posted by Your Town  April 22, 2013 01:29 PM

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MIT will hold a memorial service on Wednesday for Sean Collier, the police officer who allegedly was shot and killed last week by the Marathon bombers, the university announced today in a statement.

President L. Rafael Reif wrote in an e-mail that the service will take place on Wednesday at noon, and will be open to the MIT community, law enforcement officers, as well as top state and federal officials.

The event will be held on Briggs Field and up to 10,000 people are expected to attend.

“We grieve with his family, his many friends and his fellow MIT Police officers,” Reif wrote in his message to the MIT community. “Many at MIT knew and loved Officer Sean Collier; for those who didn't, he was someone we could all wish to have had the opportunity to know.”

MIT Police Chief John DiFava said in the statement on the university’s website that the community support has been overwhelming.

“The MIT Police are being embraced by warm wishes wherever we go, and we truly appreciate it,” he said in the statement. “It’s hard for me to express how meaningful this is to us.”

In the statement, DiFava said that MIT Police have created a website to honor Officer Collier.

In addition to the memorial on Wednesday, the university is planning to hold a smaller service in early May.

DiFava said that MIT cannot discuss the details of Collier’s death, but the university can confirm that he was shot while sitting in his MIT police cruiser on campus, at the corner of Main and Vassar streets. Authorities believe the crime was committed by one or both of the men who have been named suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, DiFava said.

In his message to the MIT community, Reif also said the school will create a memorial fund in Collier’s memory.

“In the coming days, we will come together to mourn Officer Collier and to support his family and friends,” Reif wrote. “In the meantime, we also have the opportunity to recognize the service of his fellow MIT Police officers, who continue to protect the peace of our campus through this acute moment of grief.”

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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