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After the death of two police officers on October 8th, colleagues of the deceased policemen extended a hand to those families suffering from the tragedy in a very special way. After 35 years of service, Officer Jose Vega was killed on the job at the age of 63 – leaving behind his 8 year old daughter, Vanessa. On the morning of her first day back to school, when she would traditionally be walked into class by her dad, Vega’s colleagues decided to give her a huge surprise.
Because Vanessa couldn’t be taken to school by her dad, the officers at Palm Springs Police Department showed up and took her themselves. Vanessa was escorted to school with a line of policemen.
Vega’s death left behind his wife and 8 children. A memorial for Officer Vega was hosted just a week before she returned to school, and Vanessa delivered a eulogy to over the 10,000 people in attendance. She commented on the happy life he led – saying he truly was a “good cop.” She stated: “Even though we can’t see him it doesn’t mean he can’t see us. He’s at peace now.”
Vega’s colleagues can’t replace Vanessa’s father, but they paid respect to Vanessa in the most fitting way. While she wasn’t walked to school by her dad – she was led into class with her police officer “uncles” and more hugs than she could have imaged! A tragic situation has been turned into an inspiring tribute to a devoted policeman and his family.
Sergeant William Hutchinson said: “If we put a little bit of joy or happiness or comfort in her life, we’ll help her.” And that they really did!