Community rallying around family of New Bedford police officer who lost battle with COVID-19

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The community gathered on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the life of Sgt. Mike Cassidy and to help his family during a very difficult time.

The 27-year veteran of the New Bedford Police Department passed away on Wednesday following, “a valiant battle with COVID-19,” according to Acting Police Chief Paul Oliveira.

This event was planned weeks ago, originally just as a fundraiser.

“They were doing it as a beacon of hope to kind of give the family the prayer power to get Mike through this. Mike sadly, lost that fight,” Hank Turgeon said.

New Bedford Police Union President Hank Turgeon, who is also a patrol officer, worked with Cassidy and said he was kind and selfless.

“Your first impression of Mike is he was very rough around the edges. He was a marine, a SWAT Team guy,” he said. “Once you got to know Mike, he was extremely compassionate and he was involved in every charitable event. He had a passion for this job and an even bigger love for people.”

The fundraiser is helping the family with medical and funeral costs. The community donated dozens of prizes for a raffle and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the family.

Sgt. Cassidy was a member of the Washington Club on David Street. The treasurer told 12 News, the response has been huge.

“It’s a phenomenal turnout, it’s overwhelming the donations we got from different organizations and businesses it’s overwhelming,” Dee Kendall said.

“It’s mind blowing, I’m just amazed and appreciative of what everybody has done for the Cassidy family,” Turgeon said.

Funeral arrangements for Sgt. Mike Cassidy have not yet been announced.

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