Somerville Police Officer Mario Oliveira Retires

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By William Tauro
In November 2010, Somerville Police Officer Mario Oliveira was shot multiple times as he served an arrest warrant on Gibbens Street at about 6:40 p.m. with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. Officer Oliveira was immediately transported to the Massachusetts General Hospital and was in serious condition.
The man, who shot Officer Oliveira, was struck by return fire and transported to the Somerville Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He has been identified as Matthew Krister, 21, of Somerville.

A statement from the city said the suspect, who has not been identified, opened fire on officers immediately and police returned gunshots. Oliveira was hit by bullets in the stomach, hand and shoulder.

The suspect was shot and killed during the exchange, according to the District Attorney’s office who are investigating the shooting.

Mayor Joe Curtatone, Acting Police Chief Mike Cabral and more than three dozen law enforcement officers gathered at the hospital Tuesday night as Oliveira underwent surgery.

Curtatone said the wounded officer is “one of the top officers on the force.”

“He is a great person and a great officer,” Curtatone said. “We’re holding a vigil here and hoping he makes it through.”

Officer Mario Oliveira was named Somerville Police Officer of the Year in 2005 and was one of the most decorated officers in the department at that time.

After being discharged earlier later that month from Massachusetts General Hospital for multiple gun shot wounds, Somerville Police Detective Mario Oliveira upon arrival to his home in Billerica via police motorcade was rushed directly back to Massachusetts General Hospital.
City spokeswoman Jackie Rossetti said Oliveira’s sutures became loose and he returned to the hospital. Oliveira has been re-sutured and sent home by doctors said Jackie Rossetti.

Back on March 17th, 2011, dozens of the Somerville business community members joined President Frank Wright and the Somerville Kiwanis Club as they hosted their Somerville Kiwanis Annual St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon at the Somerville Holiday Inn.

The banquet room was filled with St. Patrick’s Day decor, Irish music, Irish jokes and the fine aroma of corned beef and cabbage as it was being served to the singing crowd.

Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General Gabriel O’Malley was the guest speaker at the well attended event. O’Malley recently wrote and spoke about an article published in the December 19, 2010 Boston Globe titled Romantic Ireland: Is it Dead and Gone or On Its Way Back?

The Kiwanis took this opportunity to honor Somerville Police Detective Mario Oliveira and present him a $10,000 check that was donated by Paul Collyer of BA Event Promotions.

In his presentation, Collyer told the crowd “Detective Oliveira was shot five times in the line of duty in November of 2010. Today he is here for us so we can all personally thank him for his bravery, dedication and numerous contributions to the City of Somerville. Mario is a ten-year veteran of the Somerville Police Department with numerous awards including Officer of the Year in 2005.

Detective Oliveira’s wife Christy, his parents Margaret and Humberto Oliveira, his brother John, Somerville Police Chief Thomas Pasquarello, Deputy Chief Michael Cabral and Alderman-at-Large and Kiwanian Jack Connolly were all in attendance.

Mario announced to the crowd that day that he would return back to work on that following Monday.

Then in July 2013, the recognized hero police detective awaited pention approval from state legislature which eventually happened.

On March 1st, 2014, Mario Oliveira issued the following statement:

“Well it’s with mixed emotions that I post this. As of today , I am officially retired from SPD.

I made a valiant effort to return to duty after the shooting incident. My mind was on board but my body wasn’t.

I am proud to have served with the many great brothers and sisters on SPD and departments all around Boston including Federal agencies.

Thank you to all that had my back during serious calls and thank you for all the funny and fond moments we shared.

I hope that all Law Enforcement officers make it home to their loving families at the end of every tour of duty!

God Bless and in my heart I’ll always be a Somerville Police Officer!

Mario Oliveira”

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Photo: SomervillePpolice Officer Mario Oliveira was awarded a citation for the police officer of the year in 2005. With Alderman Dennis Sullivan in photo.

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Photo:
Kiwanis President Frank Wright, BA Event Promotions Paul Collyer, Det Mario Oliveira and Alderman Jack Connolly. – Photo by William Tauro

joe c at mario press conf

Photo: Mayor Joseph Curtatone at MGH press conference day after shooting.

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Mario’s letter to the city:
S.P.D.,

I hope this email finds you well. I am sending you this letter to thank you all and to make you aware that I will be officially retired as of March 1, 2014 with special legislation.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mayor Joe Curtatone, the Board of Aldermen, Senator Pat Jehlan, State Representative Denise Provost and Senator Ken Donnelly – who all worked tirelessly writing and passing the special legislation that was signed by Governor Deval Patrick. A heartfelt thank you to the citizens of Somerville who stood by my family and I. The citizens of Somerville, including young students, sent me letters, cards and called with well wishes. My family and I are forever grateful and will never forget such acts of kindness and compassion.

I also want to thank Interim Chief Charles Femino, Deputy Chief Fallon, and Retired Deputy Chief Paul Upton, for keeping in constant contact with me throughout the past year. I want to thank my Union President Mike McGrath for being a great listener, assisting me throughout my recovery and retirement paperwork. It was a rough year for me and my family to say the least. Not knowing my future took a toll on me mentally. These men showed me the true meaning of compassion, not just because they are my work colleagues, it was because they truly cared and are genuinely good hearted and family men. They kept me going when my spirits were down and was sitting around not knowing what the future would hold with my retirement. I also want to thank all of my brothers and sisters from the SPD who called or texted periodically to check on me and my family. The constant phone calls meant SO MUCH to me, you don’t even know….

I couldn’t leave without publicly thanking my heroes that saved my life on November 2, 2010. These officers will always have a special place in my heart.

Thank you to Lt. Jerry Reardon, Sergeant Joe McCain, Detective Ernie Nadile and Detective Mike Kiely. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for your heroism on that night. I am forever indebted to you all.

I especially want to publicly recognize and thank Deputy Chief Mike Cabral, who was the acting Chief of Police on the evening I almost made the ultimate sacrifice. Deputy Chief Cabral raced to the hospital immediately upon learning that I was shot and in critical condition. He immediately took control and made sure that my family was taken care of. He met with the hundreds of police officers who came to the Massachusetts General hospital and comforted my family and friends. He and Mayor Curtatone came to the hospital everyday to visit with me and my family. He even organized an unbelievable escort of Somerville police motorcycles and cruisers to take me home when I was released from the hospital. Deputy Chief Cabral has been by my side at every awards ceremony, including the Massachusetts State House and in Washington, D.C.

In closing, I know being a police officer has its ups and downs. You see things during your careers that most people will never see in two lifetimes, and it comes with a heavy price. Please remember that your life can be taken from you at any time. Cherish your families, be grateful for the opportunity you’ve been given to protect and serve the great community of Somerville. Always wear your uniform proudly. Don’t sweat the small stuff that goes on at work and remember family comes first. We as police officers deal with so much negativity with work that we lose sight of what really is important in our lives. Please take care of yourselves and each other. I am proud to have served the Somerville community with each one of you and thank you for always having my back when I needed it. I am thankful for all the fond memories we’ve made throughout the last 15 years. In my heart, I’ll always remain a proud Somerville Police Officer. God Bless you all. I pray that each of you make it home safely to your families at the end of every shift.

Respectfully,
Mario Oliveira
Detective Mario Oliveira (Ret.)
Badge #241

10 thoughts on “Somerville Police Officer Mario Oliveira Retires”

  1. When Det. Mario Oliveira was shot and nearly mortally wounded, the city and the region lost more than a good cop. Mario was the guy you wanted to show up at your door if you were a victim of a crime. He put all that he had into solving every case assigned to him. If you were the bad guy, Mario was last guy you wanted to see. Mario had enthusiasm for his work that was beyond what is the norm. He was tenacious. He developed a network of reliable informants. He followed every lead as far as he could. He solved so many serious cases in Somerville and was responsible for putting a lot of really bad people in jail. When Mario was assigned to the ATF Task Force, he was responsible for taking more guns of the street than anyone else in the Boston ATF office.
    Mario will be missed by law enforcement in the region, but like he said, even though retired, he will always be a Somerville cop.

    Paul Upton
    Deputy Chief (Retired)

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