Sgt. Mike Cassidy.

Sgt. Mike Cassidy was known as a tough guy, a life-saver, a Marine and an all-around good guy during his 52-years of life.

After he lost a long fight with COVID-19 in late April, his wake and funeral drew hundreds of police officers to the city in his honor.

“This is a tremendous loss to our department and to the City of New Bedford, as we all know Sgt. Cassidy was a proud officer who served the people of this city with his whole heart,” said Acting Chief Paul Oliveira after his death.  “Sgt. Cassidy loved being a police officer and went above and beyond to impact the lives of others in a positive way.”

It was just three years ago that Cassidy was recognized by the department as a “life-saver” after he performed CPR on a Market Basket cashier who had slumped over her register. He was off duty at the time but was the first at the scene and did what he was trained to do.

Cassidy had previously been recognized as a life-saver in 2006 for his actions during the births of two babies.

“I was just helping people, just being a basic human being,” he said at the time of the Market Basket rescue, explaining that he was just part of a team effort with firefighters and EMS.

“We’re really proud of the way he goes about his work,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell in a Standard-Times story published after Cassidy was recognized for his effort.

A sea of police officers outside Mount Carmel Church for Sgt. Mike Cassidy's funeral.
Hundreds of police officers attended funeral services for Police Sgt. Michael P. Cassidy at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Photo by Jack Spillane

Melissa Batchilder, the department director of communications, on the NBPD Facebook page said that Cassidy, who worked across the hall from her, “told me some of the best stories.”

“He was a husband and a father. He saved lives. He ran in when others ran out,” she wrote.

Michael P. Cassidy died on April 28, 2021, after a long fight with COVID-19.

He was a graduate of Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School who on graduation enlisted in the Marine Corps and fought in Operation Desert Storm.

At the police department he had served as a patrol officer, and in narcotics, criminal investigation and firearms. He taught use of force/defensive tactics, CPR,  firearms instruction, and Kenpo Karate, for which he was a 5th Degree Black Belt. He loved Boston sports and a wide variety of music.

The day of his funeral, watching across the street as a mark of respect was a man who played softball with him in the South End, Randall Parker.

Dressed all in civilian black, he was just one man among the hundreds of officers and members of the public who turned out that day. But he said he wanted to show his respect for Cassidy, whom he said had fought a long battle with the virus.

“He was just a good, good guy,” he said.

Collage of New Bedford people who died in COVID pandemic featured in memorial.

We remember you.

As the city emerges from the long siege of COVID-19, we pause to take stock of what – and whom – we’ve lost. Please help build this community memorial by adding a tribute to your loved one.

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