5-year-old Dakota Pitts returned to school a week after his father was gunned down in the line of duty by a 21-year-old suspect. The little boy was escorted by 70 cops outside Sullivan Elementary in Indiana.
Rob Pitts had served in the Indiana Police Department for 16 years until he was killed in action a week ago. Before returning to school, Dakota had asked his mother to request any of his father’s friend to drop him to school. The widow contacted Rob Pitts’ friends and relatives, and was in for a surprise.
The boy was escorted by at least 70 Indiana officers from the Terre Haute Police Department waiting outside the elementary school. The child walked past the officers wearing his father’s police badge and, upon his arrival, was also given his very own SWAT t-shirt and police badge. They wanted Dakota to know they will always have his back.
Rob Pitts’ sister, Kelly Jones, was also present on the occasion. Speaking to WTHI, she said, “He will definitely know his dad was a hero. Blood doesn’t always make family. And I think the blue family went above and beyond.”
A week earlier, Dakota shared a special message for his father on the local station WTHI. He said, “Dear Dad, I love you and I miss you so much.”
Many people took to Twitter to express their regards for the fallen officer and the admirable act fellow officers had shown to honor Rob Pitts and his family.
We love you Dakota & Rob Pitts.
I know all of Terre Haute will help raise you big and strong.
— Justin Shoemaker (@JustinDudarino) May 15, 2018
God help this kid heal from not having his dad watch him grow. Good show of solidarity with his family by the police department.
— Charlie Nelly (@Bondsie) May 15, 2018
A wonderful show of support. #Respect
— kimm_w (@kimm_spark) May 15, 2018
Dakota, your Dad will be watching ? & he sees one brave son & will always be proud of you.
— Tina (@dragonflytdh) May 15, 2018
Congratulations to those fine terre haute police officers this video shows how big hearts police officers have God bless them and dakota pitts and his family
— Bruce Brown (@BruceBr05971212) May 15, 2018
— kerry shields (@IrreplaceDesign) May 15, 2018
Dakota is following his father’s footsteps and hopes to become a police officer some day. All thanks to Pitts’ friends in blue, his son didn’t end up going back to school all by himself.