Pats to recognize law enforcement tonight

The Patriots' preseason game tonight against the Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium marks the first home contest of the 2013 season.

Prior to the game, the team will have a moment of silence in remembrance of MIT police officer Sean Collier, who tragically lost his life in the line of duty on April 18. Collier was described as a dedicated Patriots fan who was looking forward to his first season as a season ticket holder in 2013.

In his honor, the Patriots have invited members of the local law enforcement community to participate in the team’s annual pregame “Thank You” to the fans, pairing 90 police officers with the 90 fans who will greet the team during the team’s on-field introductions.

The police agencies represented in tonight’s ceremony will include officers from the Massachusetts State Police, Foxborough Police Department, Boston Police Department, Watertown Police Department, MBTA Transit Police Department and MIT Police Department, as well as individual officers from multiple Metro Police units throughout the region.

The 90 fans will appear in uniformed apparel, each wearing a Nike No. 1 Patriots blue jersey. Those fans will be paired with 90 officers, who will be wearing their own blue uniforms representing the various police departments.