Seventy police officers stood quietly outside a quiet Indiana elementary school, lined up on both sides of the sidewalk, heads tilting down. They stand prayerfully as 5-year-old Dakota Pitts walks toward the school, a policeman right behind him, helping him along.
Dakota is wearing his father's badge. Today is Dakota's first day back at school. He's been mourning the loss of his father Rob Pitts, who was murdered on May 4th while responding to a homicide.
Dakota has received overwhelming support from the community, and he's remained upbeat, as upbeat as a boy who's lost his father can be.
Dakota didn't want to make this walk alone. So 70 police from around the county showed up, reminding him that he doesn't have to. Birds chirp in the daylight. It's a bright day. The police officers, the friends and fellow officers who worked beside Rob Pitts, lean down and pat Dakota on the shoulder. “Welcome back," they say.