WORCESTER - Worcester Police Sergeant and Diversity Officer Derrick Leto died while off-duty on Friday. He was 42-years-old and married with two children.
Leto, a U.S. Marine veteran and 18-year veteran of the Worcester Police Department, led the department recruiting team. According to the Worcester Police Department, he started the department's first Cadet Program and Explorer’s Program with a focus on recruiting candidates of color and women.
Chief of Police Steven Sargent said Leto, "made a difference in our department, City and community and worked hard to make our visions a reality." Sergeant also said, "Sgt. Leto made great strides in creating unity among the police and community groups and partners."
In a letter to city employees on Friday, City Manager Eric Batista said Leo was active in youth programs in the city, including boxing and basketball. Batista ordered flags flown at half-staff until further notice. He also volunteered at the Second Baptist Church and the Friendly House.
In a social media post, Mayor Joe Petty said Leto helped shape the future of the Worcester Police Department through his work as the department's diversity officer. "Petty added that, "The Police class that just graduated is a reflection of his tireless efforts to make the police department reflect the diversity of our city."
Our deepest condolences to the men and women of the Worcester Police Department and to the family and Friends of Sgt. Derrick Leto. Here at Crime Trackers Massachusetts, we all knew D well and he'll be missed by us all. This is a sad day for Worcester and all of Massachusetts. pic.twitter.com/Tc24Vhou0A
— Crime Trackers Massachusetts (@crimetrackersma) March 17, 2023