WORCESTER (CBS) – Nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester halted their picketing at noon on Wednesday in honor of Emmanuel “Manny” Familia, the Worcester police officer who drown trying to save a 14-year-old boy in Green Hill Pond last week.

Nurses said halting picketing would free up police assigned to the strike to attend the services and ceremonies for Familia. Nurses said they would also line the route of the funeral procession out of respect.

READ MORE: 'It Was Shocking': American Flag Torn Down, Stolen From Pulaski Park In Boston

“As nurses, we have a deep connection to the police in our work and tremendous appreciation for the selfless support they provide in keeping our communities safe,” said Marlena Pellegrino, a nurse at the hospital and chairperson of the nurses local bargaining unit with the Massachusetts Nurses Association. “Officer Familia actually worked the detail for our strike, and we were devastated by the loss of this kind and honorable public servant.”

READ MORE: No Powerball Winner, Jackpot Climbs To $570 Million

The decision was made after the Worcester Police Department requested the nurses suspend picketing. The nurses will resume picketing at 6 a.m. Friday.

Familia was a five-year veteran of the Worcester Police Department. He leaves behind his wife Jennifer and two children, a son and a daughter. A funeral service is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m.

MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments

Nurses at St. Vincent Hospital have been striking for four months over what they say are unsafe staffing levels.

CBSBoston.com Staff