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Abington Police Officer Timothy O'Connor lost his battle with cancer this Sunday, Sept. 7th. He graduated from the 36th MPOC in Plymouth. Please contact Chief Majenski at 781-878-3232 for more info. Funeral arrangments have yet to be announced.
 

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Abington police officer dies of cancer at 40
By Jennifer Kovalich, Enterprise staff writer

ABINGTON - Officer Timothy O'Connor always wanted the Police Department to go back to the old-style black and white cruisers.

The 40-year-old father of four died of cancer Sunday. On Monday, town workers finished painting the third cruiser that has the retro-1950s look, according to a design O'Connor created. The first time the cars will hit the road will be Thursday, as a tribute at his funeral at St. Bridget Church.

"They're just sitting there waiting," an emotional Police Chief Richard Franey said.

O'Connor, a father of four, served with the department for more than a decade. He was appointed as a special police officer in July 1992 and was appointed to the permanent force April 5, 2000.

"That was his major dream, to become a police officer," Franey said.

O'Connor was the department's safety officer and firearm licensing officer, as well as unofficial in-house computer fix-it man.

"He could take two computers that didn't work and come out with one that did," the chief said.

How he did it, no one really knew, but O'Connor would just smile and say, "I don't know. I got a couple parts that worked," Franey recalled.

Flags flew at half staff Monday to mark the police officer's passing. It is a loss that is hitting the department hard. Earlier this year four police officers were laid off due to budget cuts. O'Connor's job would have been next had the cuts been deeper.

"The thing I liked the best is I was able to save his job. I never wanted to lay him off and I didn't have to," Franey said. "Now - he's gone."

O'Connor was a 1980 graduate of Weymouth Vocational Technical High School and the Plymouth Police Academy. He was married to the former Charlene Melanson and was the father of Laura, 15; Timothy, 9; Abby, 6, and Craig, 2.

"We're going to look out for his family. He had a wonderful wife and good kids. He gave them a good start in life," Franey said."

An avid hockey player, O'Connor was a youth hockey coach. He was also a communicant at St. Bridget's Church, his family and Franey's often going out for breakfast after Sunday Mass.

Treasurer-Collector Paul Donlan first met O'Connor while he was serving as a selectman. He recalled how O'Connor and officer Barry Geraghty would come to Town Hall to talk shop.

"You just lost one of Abington's finest," Donlan said. "He had a great rapport with the kids."

Donlan said O'Connor was a popular fixture at the department's annual fishing derby. During this year's event, the police officer moved up and down the row of children casting lines from Central Street into Island Grove Pond, baiting their hooks for them.

O'Connor had a room dedicated in his home to his collection of police memorabilia. He would often also cut news clips of the accomplishments of his friends' children, and give the clips to his friends, Franey said.

O'Connor was diagnosed in December with cancer. He received treatments several times a week, but if he felt well enough he would go to work.

"The minute he came in here he brightened the place up. You couldn't ask for a better police officer," Franey said. "He helped everybody he could."

He also caught the bad guys.

Last fall, while out on patrol on Route 123, he observed what looked like a drug deal. When one of the cars took off, O'Connor pursued it and made the bust.

Before becoming a police officer O'Connor had worked in the radio communications field.

Once on the department he detected a flaw in the station's radio system and repaired it. He also worked on the department's cruiser radios so they could be compatible with other department's frequencies during mutual aid calls.

During his illness, Franey said, police officers worked to keep O'Connor's spirits up, visiting at home and in the hospital. Although he never got to see the actual cruisers he designed, officers took photos of the computer designs and made a mock-up for him. He kept it on a shelf near his hospital bed, Franey said.

"He appreciated so much for you to visit him in the hospital. He fought right up to the very end," the chief said.

Officers had planned a benefit for O'Connor in November at the Sons of Italy club in Rockland. They will now hold it to help out his family. The benefit will take place Nov. 8 and tickets will be available from Abington police in the coming weeks.

As a tribute to O'Connor, the department plans to retire his badge, No. 20.

While O'Connor's dream of the black-and-white police cars has become a reality, his goal of creating a department color guard remained unfinished at the time of his death.

Franey said some money has been collected toward creating the color guard. The police will continue the effort on his behalf.

"I think Tim is going to be missed by all of us," Franey said. "He was just a quiet, unassuming guy, just one of those real good guys."

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- I attended the wake last night and the funeral service today. Both were conducted with the utmost pride and professionalism by the Abington Police Department, Timmy would be very proud. Anyone interested in helping out Tim's wife and children may contact the Abington Police Department @ (781)878-3232, they have made up memorial stickers that may be purchased for $10.00/ea.

God bless you, Tim, you will be dearly missed by all.
 

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Joe,
I am very sorry for the loss that his family, community, and profession has suffered. I was honored to be at St. Bridget's yesterday with hundreds of our brothers and sisters. Bagpipes and Bikes were a fitting tribute. Officer O'Connor now patrols in Heaven.
 

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Timmy was one of the greatest police officers I ever had the pleasure of knowing, working and proud to be his friend. I will miss him sadly and so will all of us. I have decals that the department is selling for $10 each. The badges decals are very nice and professionally done. We are trying to raise money for his family, he left a wife and four children behind. Please PM me if you are interested in purchasing decals. I can do it through paypal. Thanks
 
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