Police run on foot from Massachusetts to DC to honor officer

May 10, 2022 GMT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Police officers in Massachusetts have begun a 425-mile (680-kilometer) journey on foot to the nation’s capital to honor an officer that drowned last year as he tried to save a teen.

Officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia, a five-year veteran of the Worcester police department, died attempting to rescue a teenager drowning in the pond at Green Hill Park on June 4, The Telegram & Gazette reported Monday. The teen also died.

Twenty officers launched their pilgrimage on Monday morning from Green Hill Park, where Familia’s son Jovan was presented a baton with his father’s name inscribed on it, the police department said in a Facebook post.

Police said that Jovan ran to Worcester police headquarters to pass the baton to Chief Steven Sargent. The group of officers will carry the baton to Washington. They plan to end the run at the National Law Enforcement Memorial where Familia’s name was recently inscribed.

Officers will attend National Police Week events to honor Familia and other officers who have died in the line of duty, police said.