Children of Late Bomb Technician Follow Father's Legacy at Boston Police Department

Jerry Hurley loved his backyard pool, a good joke and his family. He was a father, a grandfather and a Boston cop — one with an unusual job to do.

Hurley was a member of the explosive ordinance unit at the Boston Police Department.

His daughter, Leanne, was a senior in high school 27 years ago when her brother, David, showed up one day to get her.

"He just said, 'Something happened to Dad and we need to get to the hospital,'" said Leanne, now married with the name Teehan.

On Oct. 28, 1991, Hurley suited up for a call, as he had done countless times. He and his partner responded to a report of a homemade bomb planted under a car in Roslindale.

It exploded in Hurley's hands.

His family rushed to the hospital. The doctors told the family there were hopeful signs, but he needed to get into surgery. Did they want to see him first?

Teehan said she argued they shouldn't see him in that condition. She was 18, and convinced he was coming home.

"I put my foot down," she said. "Eighteen years old, still in my St. Clare's uniform. And I refused to let any of my family go see him. He wouldn't have wanted us to see him like that. He would have been mad."

He died a few hours later, at 50, a police veteran with decades of experience.

Teehan said she wrestled the demons of not saying goodbye for years.

David Hurley said he felt differently.

"I'm glad they didn't go in," he said. "Their last memory would have been the blood, the trauma. You want to remember him as the vibrant guy that he was, laughing, smiling. That's what you want to remember."

In spite of, or perhaps because of, their father's career, both Leanne and David joined the Boston Police Department.

David Hurley wears his father's number, what he calls a badge of honor.

"You don't wake up in the morning thinking, 'Wow that's my job and something horrible is going to happen,'" Teehan said. "You're a professional and you're trained."

Boston Police named one of their patrol boats in his memory.

The bomb squad community is a tight group, and Hurley also is remembered at the FBI's Hazardous Devices School in Huntsville, Alabama. It is the place bomb technicians all around the United States go for retraining and their three-year certification.

Hurley is one of 15 bomb techs killed in the line of duty, and the only one from New England. All are named on a monument at the entrance to the school. A 16th plaque is blank, a pointed reminder of the dangers of their field.

"He was humble," Teehan, said. "Very proud of what he did. Very good at what he did and I'd just love for people to remember him for the solid guy that he was."

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