Boston Police Officer Michael Baker knew how to make people laugh.
The 10-year officer was greatly involved with Cops For Kids With Cancer and regularly took the mic at Dorchester’s Florian Hall for the group’s comedy night fundraisers, according to Jimmy Coyne, president of the Boston Police Relief Association (BPRA).
“He was a great kid and a hustler,” Coyne told Boston.com. “He always could make you laugh—that’s the bottom line.”
But for as many laughs as the officer brought his community over the years, his unexpected death now brings sorrow, Coyne said.
Baker died suddenly on April 28, leaving behind his wife and three children, ages 14, 12, and 11. He was 42.
The BPRA, a nonprofit that helps the families of member officers who have been injured, fallen ill, or died, created a GoFundMe page on Sunday to help raise funds for Baker’s family. In three days, Coyne’s page raised over $115,000, through over 1,000 donations as of Wednesday night.
“We’re shocked by it all, but he always gave back to people and now people want to give back to him,” Coyne said. “… It’s a testament to the kid that so many people are now stepping up for him and his family.”
The BPRA, which began in 1867, has many benefactors, including the Boston Police Foundation. This year, it has raised more than $75,000 for two other officers’ families in need and 100 percent of the proceeds goes directly to the families, Coyne said.
“This fundraiser for Mike in particular really hit home because we all kind of know Mike, especially in the Dorchester community and though his work with Cops for Kids With Cancer” Coyne said. “We’ve all sat through Mike’s repertoire. He just made us laugh and he was too young to leave us.”