Two years ago on Friday, a regular September morning turned terrifying in an instant as gun shots rang out and Woburn Police Officer Robert DeNapoli was injured in the line of duty while responding to a call for an attempted robbery at Musto Jewelers.
On the two-year anniversary of the event that permanently changed DeNapoli’s life, Woburn Police Chief Robert Ferullo said he and each of his officers still remember the incident vividly.
“There is not a day that goes by that members of the department don’t miss having Bobby as a part of the team, but more importantly that we don’t think of that tragic fall morning,” said Ferullo. “It’s something we have not gotten over, nor will we get over it any time soon.”
In the two years since the shooting, the focus remains on recovery for DeNapoli, who said recently that he still has never gotten over the incident at the Four Corners intersection.
But in those two years, the shooting has also led to a political impasse over the benefits package that DeNapoli should receive. The City Council has twice approved lifetime benefits packages for the injured officer, and twice Mayor Scott Galvin has vetoed them.
“I want to recognize Bob and give my sincere thanks for what he endured, and what he has endured since,” said Alderman Rosa DiTucci. “Those of us here will never forget. I hope that the residents of Woburn will continue to show their support for this brave man and his family.”
So where does the benefits package stand? At the most recent City Council meeting on Tuesday, the issue was sent to the group’s Liaison Committee, where DiTucci said she hopes a compromise can be reached, though no timeframe has been set.
“My hope is that we will meet again in liaison and that we will work towards finding a solution for this family,” said DiTucci. “I hope as a City Council we can work together to move this forward. All the posturing has to stop. We have to do what’s best for the family, and this city.”
Ferullo, meanwhile, said that the actions of Officer DeNapoli two years ago proved what a dangerous job each of his officers face when they suit up for work each day.
“As a rule, policing is a dangerous job,” said Ferullo. “We go out each and every day to do our best to protect the community and return home at the end of our shifts.”