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Westfield bridge dedicated to beloved, fallen officer

View Source Article: Over in Westfield, community members and leaders celebrated fallen officer Jose Torres 12 years after he died in the line of duty.

We spoke with Torres’ family and local officials about the bridge dedication that honored not just his sacrifice, but also his history in the Whip City.

His son Jay told us, “He was incredible. The best dad and we miss him every day so much.”

A powerful path in Westfield, now personalized to honor a fallen hero.

City native Jose Torres spent 27 years on the force and is now memorialized with a namesake bridge on the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail.

Jay told us more about what this honor means to his family, saying, “It’s a wonderful tribute, especially where it is and so connected to him and where he grew up.”

This is just the latest salute to service in Torres’ honor, as a playground at Whitney Park was also installed in his memory, a symbol of strong support and love from a community indebted to Torres for his consistent community impact.

“The neighborhood really has a presence and sense of him here, it’s amazing. It’s beautiful to see that he impacted people that way. That’s part of who he was. He really was a friend to so many in this community, seeing ten years later that he’s still in people’s hearts it’s beautiful,” Jay reflected.

Westfield bridge to be dedicated to fallen police officer

It was a moment months in the making. The push to honor the twice decorated officer started back in November when City Council voted to re-name the bridge in Torres’ honor.

Councilors and their constituents saw a full circle moment in this bridge dedication near Orange Street, as Councilor Bridget Matthews-Kane explained, “The reason why it’s this bridge is this is the very neighborhood that he grew up in and spent a lot of time with as a child. He moved into this neighborhood in the fifth grade, and he has a lot a friends and memories here. He was a real leader in this community, he was a helpful police officer, but what I hear the most about him is how kind of a man he was.”

Like always, Officer Torres’ signature symbol shined through on this Saturday, a celebration that brought the community he loved together on one accord.

Matthews-Kane added, “Westfield’s a really tight-knit community. Many people heard about this and came out to celebrate his life and people from parts of his life, the police officers, his old neighbors on Orange Street, the Puerto Rican community, and it’s wonderful how this event has brought us all together.”

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