Thousands Gather to Remember Westfield Officer Jose Torres
WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Gov. Deval Patrick was among those attending the funeral on Tuesday of a Westfield police officer killed on traffic duty last week.
A 27-year veteran of the Westfield Police Department, Jose Torres was killed while working a construction detail on Pontoosic Road last week.
Torres leaves behind a wife and two sons.
A procession took Torres’ body through Westfield, past the police department, arriving for a funeral service at Westfield State University.
During the funeral liturgy, Torres widow Kara spoke about her husband. “I can not find any other word to best describe Jose other than perfect, perfect husband, father, son, brother, fellow officer, co-worker and friend,” says Torres.
Fellow officer and lifelong friend Westfield Police Capt. Hipolito Nunez said Torres’ life was about his family and simplicity of life. “As I reflect on Jose’s life, the one thing that stands out above anything else is the love he had for his wife Kara and his sons Jay and Chris,” said Nunez.
Westfield Police Sgt. Alex Baginski adds, “It was always a good day when you worked with Jose.”
Community support was strong.
Among those attending was Maura Schiavina, whose brother Michael was killed in the line of duty in Springfield in 1985. “It’s mainly a support thing plus the family personally knowing what they’re going to go through, we can empathize with them. Hopefully we can help them in the future once they get past this part,” says Schiavina.
Also supporting the family was Doris Beauregard-Shecrallah whose husband Alain was killed in the line of duty in Springfield in 1985 with his partner Michael Schiavina. “It’s important because it shows the respect for the officer and for the family and to come together as one,” says Beauregard-Shecrallah.
An empty cruiser – Number 21 – draped in black, sat outside of the Firtion-Adams Funeral Home on Broad Street. In addition to the community, a large gathering of law enforcement officers from across the area came to pay their respects.
On Tuesday, an estimated 700 police officers from throughout New England attended the funeral of their fallen brother.