Hundreds of police officers from across the country, including 35 Rhode Island state troopers, attended a ceremony Wednesday honoring fallen a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer.
Authorities said 26-year-old Sean Collier was shot in his police cruiser Friday by the suspects in the Boston bombings. After Collier was shot, police pursued the suspects through Watertown on a 20-hour manhunt.
Collier was a campus police officer, but the Rhode Island troopers said they feel the loss like one of their own.
"When a fellow police officer dies it affects us all. Even though we wear different uniforms we're all together on this," said Capt. James Manni of the Rhode Island State Police.
The memorial service attracted Vice President Joe Biden, MIT faculty and law enforcement officers from around the country.
"He's our brother in arms, we're all volunteering our time to support him," Manni said.
Many of the Rhode Island troopers who attended the service were supposed to have the day off. Several troopers who attended the ceremony said they had a personal connection to the Boston area and Massachusetts police.
Collier's family and friends attended his funeral at St. Patrick's Church in Stoneham on Tuesday. The memorial service included nearly 10,000 visitors but was not open to the public.
Collier had worked at MIT for one year. His family and friends said he's always wanted to be a police officer.