MIT police officer allegedly killed by suspected marathon bombers honored by Somerville police

SOMERVILLE—Sean Collier, the MIT police officer allegedly killed by the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, posthumously received Thursday an honor he had long sought: a Somerville police officer’s badge.

Collier, who was 26 when he was shot to death in his police cruiser in Cambridge April 18, dreamed of becoming a Somerville police officer. He was officially appointed one on Thursday night at Somerville City Hall and his badge and a framed uniform were presented to his family.

“We all have our dreams, Sean Collier’s dream was to become a Somerville police officer,” Somerville Police Chief Thomas Pasquarello said Thursday. “I think it says a lot about Sean that even death could not stop him from this goal.”

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The ceremony was attended by police from around the state – including Richard Donohue, the MBTA Transit Police officer who was shot during the pursuit of Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev on April 18 – state and local officials, and Collier’s family.

”Sean has been called many things over the past four months, but one of the things Sean would be the most proud to be called is a great cop,” Collier’s brother, Andrew, said. “This would make Sean so proud.”

Collier previously worked as an auxiliary Somerville police officer from 2006 to 2009, becoming the youngest auxiliary sergeant in department history, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said. He later worked as a records clerk and in the department’s information technology department while attending police academy.

“For someone who only lived here a few years, you’d think he had been here a lifetime,” Curtatone said. “He touched so many lives, he crossed so many paths.”

Collier started as a police officer at MIT in January 2012, his first job as an officer after completing police academy training.

Pasquarello previously said the city had offered Collier a job before his death, and he was expected to be officially hired in June. In May, Curtatone and the city’s Board of Aldermen sent a formal request to the State House, asking Collier be made a Somerville police officer. It was approved by the legislature and Governor Deval Patrick signed off on the request in late May. The honor is only ceremonial and does not provide any retroactive pension or benefits, according to a city spokeswoman.

Collier’s badge number, 310, will remain unused by the Somerville Police Department in his memory.