Before MIT campus police officer Sean Collier was executed, allegedly shot five times by the Boston bombing suspects as they tried to flee an FBI dragnet, the 26-year-old had been striving to become a police officer in the nearby city of Somerville.
Collier joined the MIT police last January, but also worked for the Somerville department as a civilian, and as a volunteer auxiliary officer.
Now, the Somerville mayor tells ABC News that the city has started a process to posthumously appoint Collier as a city police officer, providing his family with a badge and badge number. The number will be retired, as is custom with fallen officers.
"He will be thought of and considered forever as a Somerville Police Officer,'' Deputy Somerville Police Chief Michael Cabral said.
The appointment requires formal approval from city and state governments, but Mayor Joseph Curatone told ABC News he expects that to be a formality.
As a result of this new status, Curatone said, he was honored during funeral ceremonies this week as a police officer from both law enforcement agencies.
Curatone said he will propose a home rule petition to recognize Collier's sacrifice as one made for the people of the close-knit, blue-collar city just outside of Boston. That petition is expected to be passed by the Somerville City Council, and will then go to the State House as legislation to be signed by Gov. Deval Patrick.
Collier was shot five times in his cruiser in what appeared to be an attempt to get his gun, said Somerville Police Chief Tom Pasquarello.
"There is no rhyme or reason for what they did or why they did it," Pasquarello said. "Perhaps the only one that can explain that is the suspect in the hospital right now."
The police commander spoke in an interview at the Somerville Police headquarters. He was holding a card passed out at Collier's funeral mass. The card carried a photograph of Collier wearing a Somerville Police uniform.