MIT Police Sergeant Brian Joseph Sousa Jr. passed away suddenly on April 16 at the age of 49.
A member of the MIT Police for 23 years, Sousa held various roles in the patrol division before his promotion to sergeant in 2011. A familiar face at the Institute, Sergeant Sousa was known by all members of the community for his kindness, patience, sense of humor, and love of MIT.
“Sergeant Brian Sousa was 100 percent committed to the safety and well-being of all of us at MIT,” says MIT Police Chief John DiFava. “He was a real people person, and it showed in everything he did. He was friendly, approachable, and completely reliable — a truly great officer and colleague. It is impossible to express how much we will miss him, and what a loss this is for MIT.”
Sergeant Sousa served as aide to the patrol commander and was the top sergeant within the patrol division. In this role, he assisted the operations division commander, Captain Craig Martin, with the day-to-day operations of the division, including scheduling, planning and coverage for events, and liaising with community members from across the Institute. He was also responsible for oversight of the Detail Office, and occasionally stood in as a shift supervisor.
“Brian was an integral part of the MIT Police,” says Martin. “All of us depended on his professionalism and good judgment, and greatly respected and admired his work ethic. He was always there for the community and his fellow officers. He will be greatly missed as a colleague and a friend.”
A longstanding member of the MIT Police Honor Guard, Sergeant Sousa also had a role in Commencement each year, placing the flags on the stage in advance of the academic procession's arrival in Killian Court. The honor guard also represents the MIT Police at other ceremonial occasions, such as MIT presidential inaugurations, dedications, and memorials.
Born in Taunton, Massachusetts, Sergeant Sousa attended Massasoit Community College, where he earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice. A devoted husband and father, he is survived by his wife of 24 years, Brenda Florio-Sousa, sons Jack and Matthew Florio-Sousa, and a large extended family. In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that donations be made to the Officer Sean A. Collier Memorial Fund.