WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Black bunting adorns the Worcester Police Department Friday night as the community mourns the loss of officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia.
Familia was one of five officers who jumped into the water at Green Hill Park Pond to rescue three children who were struggling. The officers were able to bring two of those kids to shore safely but, Familia and a 14-year-old boy did not make it.
His body was recovered at 2:28 p.m. and transported him to UMass Memorial Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Familia was a five year veteran of the force. Those who knew and worked with him described him as a credit to the department and a valuable member of the community.
“This is a very sad day for the Worcester Police Department family,” Officer Daniel Gilbert said during an emotional speech at a press conference later in the day. “I use the word family because that is exactly what we are. We are brothers, we are sisters and everyone’s family members are a part of our family.”
Chief Steven M. Sargent said he will be remembered and honored for his selfless devotion and the ultimate sacrifice he made to save someone he did not know.
“The Worcester Police Department has lost a brother, a friend and a partner. The city of Worcester has lost a hero. We will remember and we will honor his selfless devotion to Worcester and his ultimate sacrifice to save someone he didn’t know,” Sargent said.
He graduated from the police academy back in 2016 and thanked his wife and parents for their support in his graduation video.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the academy and the academy staff for giving me this chance of becoming a better officer, a better recruit, throughout this past month. It has been a long journey,” he said. “I also want to thank my mom and my dad for being so supportive. Last but not least, my wife and my two kids. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would be doing at this point in time. They motivated me. They stuck by me throughout these last six months. My wife, thank you for taking care of me day in and day out.”
The Worcester Police will be escorting Familia’s body from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office in a procession that is excepted to begin around 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
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