BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CNN) — West Palm Beach police officers made the first day of school for a fellow officer’s son pretty special.
Last September, Sgt. Bill Nealy died of cancer. One of his last requests of his brothers in blue was for them to escort his son, Jake, to his first day of kindergarten.
It’s not easy to start kindergarten, but Jake Nealy had a sea of blue to welcome him to Crystal Lakes Elementary School.
More than a dozen West Palm Beach police officers took a walk they promised to his father, Sgt. Bill Nealy, just before he died from cancer last September.
“Watching a little kid go back to school and especially Bill’s kid after he had asked us to do that, it tears your heart out a little bit,” said Lt. Joseph Herb, WPB police.
Jake walked proudly to his classroom, showing off his personality, unique like his dad.
“I don’t think the guy had a hateful bone in his body and that being said he was probably one of the best police officers I’ve ever worked with,” Herb said.
“His little funny personality, the way his brain connects dots I’m like oh man that’s Bill,” said Officer Brent Treu, WPB police.
As he begins this new stage, his blue family says they’ll always be there for him and for his dad.
“I know he’s looking down on us and probably laughing and probably crying himself and if he’s looking down on us I hope we made him happy,” Herb said.
The school put up a flag to honor Sgt. Nealy’s memory. Nealy has another son who is starting high school this year, and the department plans to be there for him as well.