(TERRE HAUTE, Ind.) — It was always going to be a tough first day back to school for 5-year-old Dakota Pitts, who lost his dad last week. But thanks to his father’s brothers in blue, he didn’t go back alone.
Seventy officers from the Terre Haute Police Department and the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department came to Sullivan Elementary School in Indiana to welcome Dakota back to school after his dad, Rob Pitts, was killed in the line of duty, ABC Terre Haute affiliate WTHI-TV reported.
“Dakota asked his mom if one of his dad’s friends could take him to school, so she reached out to Rob’s friends and families,” Terre Haute Police Detective Les Hamm told WTHI-TV.
Rob Pitts was a 16-year veteran of the department, and Dakota wore his dad’s police badge around his neck to school. The department’s SWAT Team presented Dakota with his very own SWAT badge and shirt.
The officers, who came to the school during their time off, wanted Dakota to know that they will always have his back. The family told WTHI-TV that they had never expected this kind of response.
“He will definitely know his dad was a hero,” Kelli Jones, Rob Pitts’ sister, told WTHI-TV. “Blood doesn’t always make family and I think the blue family went above and beyond.”
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