By Alan Burke
---- — PEABODY — Slain MIT police officer Sean Collier will be buried at Peabody’s Puritan Lawn Cemetery today in a private ceremony and under tight security.
The burial will follow a memorial service at MIT expected to attract “thousands of uniformed police officers,” according to Peabody Deputy Chief Scott Carriere. Later, at a time yet to be determined, the family will bury the officer here in Peabody.
Local police won’t be involved in the graveside service, Carriere said, “but Peabody police officers have been assigned to provide security. We will have a large contingent of officers.” Federal and state law enforcement officers, including FBI and Secret Service agents, are expected to have a presence. The area will be swept for explosives and guarded against unauthorized intrusions.
Recalling the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15 and the violence that followed, Carriere explained the need for security.
“Anything related to what happened is considered a soft target,” he said, adding, “We’re still dealing with an active investigation.”
Collier was shot multiple times in his cruiser at MIT on April 18, allegedly by the Tsarnaev brothers, suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, authorities said. This came only hours after police released photos of the two men accused of placing the bombs, which killed three and injured more than 260 celebrants at the marathon.
A funeral Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, was held yesterday at St. Patrick’s Church in Stoneham for the 27-year-old Collier.
A Wilmington native, Collier was a graduate of Salem State University. He leaves behind his parents and five siblings.
Collier had worked at MIT for a little more than a year and had recently won a job with the Somerville Police Department.
“You really try not to get emotional,” Carriere said of the event, but he conceded that an officer’s death in the line of the duty is a reminder for every police officer of the risks they run each day.
Arrangements for the burial have been worked out in a “teleconference” with multiple law enforcement agencies, according to Carriere.
Those seeking to visit the graves of loved ones during this period will be escorted in and out of the cemetery by Peabody police.