Fallen officer’s daughter gets blue swarm of support at kindergarten graduation

WASHINGTON – The bond between those who serve together in law enforcement is a strong one, and it’s never more on display than when tragedy strikes.

Take a recent example from the Phoenix Police Department in Arizona. Officer Daryl Raetz, a 29-year-old military veteran, was killed by a hit-and-run driver last Sunday while making a DUI stop on another vehicle. The incident came just hours after a Phoenix firefighter died from injuries suffered when he became pinned between two emergency vehicles.

On Wednesday, Raetz’s daughter Tatum was set to graduate from kindergarten. With her dad unable to be there, dozens of uniformed police officers showed up and lined the walls of the school for the ceremony. AZ Family reports the officers also stood along the sidewalk and congratulated Tatum as she walked into the ceremony with her mother.

One officer tells the news outlet that Tatum “had 300, 400 parents” there for her, and described the experience as amazing but bittersweet.

“We tried to keep this to Daryl’s squad and his precinct but the word got out that this was happening and … within the department … there was absolutely no way that you could keep officers who could be here away from here,” the Phoenix Police Department says on its Facebook page. “They came, even with their families.”

See more photos and video about the display in the gallery.

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