Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

WALTHAM, MASS. (WHDH) – Family, friends and hundreds of police officers lined up in Waltham Thursday, attending the wake of the Waltham police officer who was killed in the line of duty last week. 

Paul Tracey died on Dec. 6 when police said a 54-year-old New Hampshire man crashed his pickup truck into a utility worksite on Totten Pond Road where Tracey was working a roadside detail. National Grid worker Roderick Jackson was also killed and several other people were injured. 

Just over a week after the crash, law enforcement personnel assembled in a sea of blue for Wednesday’s wake at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted church. 

“He was a great, overall great person,” said Tracey’s cousin, John Kavey.  “He was always there to help.”

Tracey, 58, was a longtime officer in Waltham, serving the city’s police department for nearly three decades. 

After his casket was brought into Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted, Tracey was honored with a law enforcement walkthrough as officers from across the region filed through the church.

Asked about the process of moving forward after a tragedy such as last week’s crash, Watertown Police Chief Justin Hanrahan responded. 

“You have no choice,” he said. “You have to go forward.” 

“This is a job that we have to show up for every day,” he continued. “And even when something tragic like this happens, we have to continue to do our jobs.” 

Himself asked about his message to the grieving community in Waltham, Father James DiPerri of Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted said the community stands united.

“We stand united with God because God is our strength and it is through God we gain the strength necessary and needed in order to endure and survive situations like this,” he said. 

In between the heartbreak, community members on Wednesday remembered a police officer with a passion for his profession and a man who simply adored his family. 

“I feel for the family, I feel for the children,” said Linda Guigno, the wife of a retired Waltham officer. “And, unfortunately, it really didn’t have to happen.”

Tracey’s wake was scheduled to continue until at least 8 p.m. 

Tracey’s funeral will take place beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, with thousands of police officers from across the country expected to attend.

After Friday’s services for Tracey, visitation and funeral services for Roderick Jackson are scheduled for Saturday in Cambridge. 

Peter Simon, accused in connection with the crash that killed Tracey and Jackson, has been arraigned on charges including manslaughter. He was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing last week.

While their investigation into last Wednesday’s events continues, Waltham police on Wednesday of this week asked community members with any additional information or video to contact investigators.


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