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Sergeant John Carr, 25-year MIT Police veteran, dies at 52

Colleagues recall an officer who was dedicated, dependable, and never hesitated to assist others.
Sergeant John Carr
Sergeant John Carr

Sergeant John Carr of the MIT Police, who began his quarter-century career serving MIT in September 1991, died Sunday, May 22, at Salem Hospital, following a long struggle with cancer. He was 52.

For much of his tenure, Carr was a patrol officer on the main campus, working the evening shift. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant on March 14. His colleagues remember him as dedicated and dependable, and as someone who never hesitated to assist others, whether MIT students, staff, or his police colleagues.

“Sergeant Carr was a reliable officer, and always there to provide calm leadership,” says Administrative Captain Cheryl Vossmer of the MIT Police.

A Beverly, Massachusetts, resident who was born in Seoul, South Korea, Carr worked to forge connections with the people and communities he served. For example, he often participated in “meet and greet” events with MIT students. He was also a licensed emergency medical technician (EMT), a firearms instructor, and a member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Training.

Carr received the MIT Police Medal of Valor in 2007 for displaying heroism and “going above and beyond the call of duty.” During his career with the MIT Police, Carr received two letters of commendation for heroic acts. In one instance, in 2000, Carr responded to a fire at an MIT dorm that housed 93 students; he, along with six of his MIT Police colleagues, helped put out the blaze with fire extinguishers. He and his colleagues were later transported to local hospitals for smoke inhalation.

Carr served in the U.S. Army, 187th Infantry Brigade, and then continued his military service for two decades in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Reserve, with the rank of major.

Carr held an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Valley Forge Military College in Pennsylvania, a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Ashwood University in Florida.

A visitation and wake will be held Friday, May 27, at Campbell’s Funeral Home in Beverly, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; a funeral service will follow on Saturday, May 28, at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church in Beverly at 10 a.m.

Carr is survived by his father, George W. Carr Sr.; his brother, George W. Carr; and by three sisters, Harriett E. Carr, Jeanette E. Nye, and Veronica E. Carr. He is also survived by three nephews, Crew P. W. Ryan, Aidan Leroux, and Nathan Nye, and by two nieces, Tia Nye and Ava Nye.

Contributions in Carr’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society or the National Museum of the U.S. Army.

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