Retired Woburn Police Officer Bob DiNapoli was given the Valley Patriot newspaper’s highest awards Friday night during the newspaper’s 11th Anniversary BASH where he was honored with the Officer Tom Duggan Sr. Law Enforcement Memorial Award.
Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan is the son of former Officer Tom Duggan Sr. who was killed in the line of duty nearly 25 years to the day of the event.
Tom Duggan Jr. explained why Officer DiNapoli got one of the two Officer Tom Duggan Memorial Awards that night.
“Bob DiNapoli was a Woburn Police Officer. He responded to a jewelry store robbery where he was shot and the person who shot him jumped on the hood of his car and emptied his clip into him 6 more times. He died. They brought him back. And then when he went to the town of Woburn to have his health benefits paid for, they screwed him out of his benefits.”
Retired Woburn Police Chief Mahoney spoke out emotionally to the crowd “That’s a true story!” he yelled to the crowd who were in disbelief “That’s absolutely a true story.”
“And then,” Duggan continued, “after they tried to screw him out of his benefits for being shot in the line of duty, they then tried to screw him out of his pension.”
The audience gasped as Duggan continued to speak under a banner honoring his father Officer Tom Duggan Sr.
“But it gets better…” Duggan said ironically. “He gets shot six times, he dies, they bring him back, and the town that he literally died for screws him out of his benefits, tries to screw him out of his pension and then do you know what this guy goes out and does? He’s not bitter, he’s not angry, he’s not looking to get even with anybody … he volunteers his time with every graduating police academy class to explain his story so that what happened to him will never happen to them. That’s amazing!”
Flanked by Desiree Maguire, the widow of slain Woburn Police Officer Jack Maguire who was killed in the line of duty in 2010, retired Woburn Police Chief Mahoney, Woburn Officer Mark Gibbons, and his wife, DiNapoli was presented the Officer Tom Duggan Sr. Law Enforcement Memorial Award by Chief Mahoney.
Duggan told the crowd that the civilian leaders who run local police departments don’t seem to care about the service and sacrifice of our Law Enforcement Officers adding, “… so let us as members of the Valley Patriot family, the WCAP family, the WCCM family and all of the organizations that we work with, and the people we do business with… let us be the ones to go out and tell the stories and be the ones to defend our cops because our civilian leaders are doing a terrible job.”
“So, tonight I decided that our final award, that the Officer Tom Duggan Sr. Memorial Law Enforcement Award go to retired Woburn Police Officer Bob DiNapoli.”
Amid the applause, Chief Mahoney insisted on taking the microphone calling Tom Duggan Jr. a “hero” for honoring our police officers.
“Seriously there are a lot of heroes here tonight, and Tom Duggan is one of them,” he said as Duggan shook his head no.
“His father died in the line of duty, I met Tom last December 26th at Jack MaGuire’s fourth anniversary memorial in Woburn, at nine O’clock at night on the spot where Jack Maguire was killed in the line of duty laying face down in the snow.”
Chief Mahoney explained that also in the room was one of the Woburn Officers, Mark Gibbons and his wife. Gibbons was one of the cops who responded to the shooting of Officer DiNapoli and was met on the scene by a hail of bullets being shot through the windshield of of his cruiser. Gibbons was able to return fire through the windshield.
“He got out of his car and there was a fire fight,” the chief explained.
“There were 17 shots fired at Officer Gibbons, how he ever survived I will never know. On top of that Officer Gibbons brother Jack was killed in the line of duty and his name is on that wall down in Washington DC.”
Mahoney said the real heroes “are in the room here tonight, especially the wives, Officer Gibbon’s wife Janice and Desiree, Jack [Maguire’s] widow, she has been a rock since the very day this happened.”
Officer DiNapoli hugged the chief and fellow officers thanked the crowd without speaking.