The funeral Mass for fallen McKeesport Officer Sean Sluganski was held at St. Albert the Great, Blessed Trinity Parish Tuesday afternoon.
Silence filled the air as nearly 1,000 officers lined the church parking lot in Baldwin.
“He’s the only person who could make me feel safe even as the world is crumbling around me,” said Chelsea Cancilla who is Sluganski’s fiancee.
A final salute from a brotherhood and emotion words from fallen Officer Sean Sluganski’s fiancee Chelsea who is left in mourning.
“He brought the brightest light to every dark corner of my life and gave me everything I could have ever wanted to our family and our daughter,” Cancilla said.
Officer Sluganski was shot and killed in the line of duty Feb. 6 by a man whose mother called 911 and said her son was having a PTSD episode. Officer Charles Thomas was also shot and is recovering.
Those in attendance remembered him as a father, brother and son with a passion for patrolling the streets.
“Slug I would give anything in the world to have you tell my son you love him one more time. Slug I miss you I love you and you will always be my best friend,” said Frank Durante with McKeesport Police.
Sluganski was a friend to all of his officers and community members he served.
“He changed everybody’s life. There were times I was working at the wardens desk and he’d bring somebody in, they are laughing together and I’m like, ‘What are laughing for? You just got arrested,’” said Officer Chuck Thomas.
Thomas was with Sluganski that fateful day. A man he said always had his back and beloved member of his family, he will never forget.
“I couldn’t have a better partner and he will forever be my hero,” Thomas said.
The oupouring of support felt by the thousand officers from around the area who watched from outside the church.
Officer Sluganski’s casket escorted through Baldwin, McKeesport for final goodbye
Before Officer Sluganski’s body was taken to his final resting place, his casket was escorted through Baldwin and McKeesport for one final goodbye.
People lined the streets in both places to pay their respects.
Baldwin is Officer Sluganski’s hometown. It was an emotional sight as first responders with blue, red and white flashing lights led his casket down Lebanon Church Road, coming from dozens of departments, both near and far.
“To deal with a loss of someone who has gone out, put their life out there, has a new baby at home, a life ahead of him, but he put his life first for our community,” said Theresa, who watched the procession pass through Baldwin.
“It impacts us pretty hard. I mean, we’re a rough city to begin with,” Brandi Good said. She brought blue and black balloons to support the police department.
A police cruiser sits at Blue Star Memorial Park in McKeesport to honor Sluganski.
Many people stopped by, sat on a bench and a took a few moments to quietly reflect or say a prayer.
“Officers get a bad rap sometimes and you’ve just got to let people know there are good ones out there, and he was one of them,” said Kim Henry, who paid her respects as the procession headed through McKeesport. Henry dealt with “Slug” on multiple occasions.
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