Nine of the Joe Crowder’s former colleagues in his son’s 5th grade graduation on Friday.
(Boynton Beach Police Department)
Officers with the Boynton Beach Police Department in Florida, lived a young boy, the 5th grade graduation ceremony in place of his father, a former police officer with the department who died of a heart attack in 2016.
The boy, Caleb, graduated from Northboro Elementary in West Palm Beach on Friday. Nine of his father Joe Crowder’s former colleagues shouted Caleb from the audience as he walked across the stage.
“Congratulations, Caleb! We are so proud of you, and we know that your father has that also. We love you,” the police department wrote on Facebook.
“It meant everything for us to be there. We felt like proud parents,” Stephanie Slater, spokeswoman of the police who also attended Caleb’s graduation, told the Palm Beach Post. “We are so proud of the beautiful young man that Caleb is and we know that Joe smiling his giant smile this morning look Caleb, too.”
The Palm Beach Post reported that the elder Crowder was only 44 years old when he died unexpectedly of a heart attack during exercise.
Crowder, who served with the Boynton Beach Police Department for almost 15 years, was a dog officer and a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army reserves.
Caleb’s father died of a heart attack in 2016 during the training.
After his death, a local dog park was named in his honor.
“When he walk down the red carpet and he saw us his face burn,” said Slater. “He was sitting two rows front of us and looked back on all of us. There were lots of hugs and a smile.”
“In all of us, Joe was there,” she added.
Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.