A contingent of police officers from western Massachusetts traveled to Worcester to pay their respects to Officer Enmanuel ‘Manny’ Familia.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A contingent of police officers from western Massachusetts traveled to Worcester to pay their respects to Officer Enmanuel ‘Manny’ Familia.

“When someone dies in the line of duty during their career, it’s very saddening,” said Springfield Police Officer Guillermo Burgos.

Police officers from Springfield, Chicopee, and West Springfield gathered Thursday morning in front of Springfield Police headquarters before boarding buses to Worcester to honor Familia.

officer manny familia

(Photo courtesy: Worcester Police Department)

“Officer Familia wasn't just a police officer. He was a father, a brother, a police officer, and a member of the community,” said Springfield Police Capt. Brian Keenan.

Several officers we spoke with told us joining law enforcement is like joining a family.

“Whether you know them in person, personally, or not, it doesn’t matter. They’re still part of our brother and sisterhood and that’s really important,” said Chicopee Police Danusia Liszka.

Familia died in the line of duty on June 4 trying to save a drowning teenager. Law enforcement paid respects to him Thursday and Keenan told Western Mass News these situations are always tough.

“It’s a feeling that you can’t describe unless you’ve had it. When you’ve been through enough funerals, it’s never easy,” Keenan explained.

Familia will be remembered by his community and officers across the state as a hero and an inspiration to law enforcement.

“It’s awful to not come back with the four other officers that you went in there with. It’s sad, but to go in there not thinking about yourself, think about someone else’s life, that takes a lot of courage and that takes putting the community before yourself…that’s what this job is: putting the community before yourself,” Burgos noted.

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