WORCESTER, Mass. (WPRI) — Police officers from across the country visited Worcester on Wednesday to say goodbye to a fallen hero.
Officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia died in the line of duty Friday while trying to rescue a 14-year-old boy, identified by family as Troy Love, who also drowned in Green Hill Pond.
Thousands of brothers and sisters in blue paid their respects to Familia during a wake at St. John’s Catholic Church.
Thousands more, including officers from Providence, Cranston, and Woonsocket, made the trip to the city for Familia’s funeral Thursday morning.
The morning began with members of the Worcester Police Department meeting at the Mercadante Funeral Home to lead Familia’s body to the first part of a two-and-a-half-mile procession.
Hundreds could be seen lining the streets in the initial part of his send-off to police headquarters, including Gov. Charlie Baker.
Familia’s casket was put onto a horse-drawn carriage where it was led by more officers into a packed St. John’s Catholic church full of police, family, and friends.
Funeral services began shortly before 11 a.m. and were given in both English and Spanish to honor the 38-year-old.
Familia was a “family man,” according to Anthony Ortiz, a friend of the family.
“His name was fitting, you know. ‘Familia’ which translates to family,” Ortiz said. “His kids were his world. He worked hard for them, made sure that they had the proper resources and support that they needed. He was exactly the kind of father I strive to be.”
Familia had served with Worcester police for five years, and his brother said Familia was most proud of completing three different police academies and had much more to accomplish.
He leaves behind his wife Jennifer, and two children Jayla and Jovan, who brought him nothing but joy.
“You were, and will continue to be the light of his eyes. Every time he spoke of you, his eyes lit up. I know today doesn’t make any sense, and probably never will. But one thing you can be for sure is that your dad loved the two of you more than life itself,” he said.
Donations for the Familia family are being accepted through the Worcester Police Department Credit Union.