Police officers fill in for slain colleague at child’s kindergarten graduation
Alejandro “Alex” Valadez Jr. never got to meet his father, so more than 20 Chicago police officers filled in to help celebrate the boy’s kindergarten graduation Friday.
Officer Alejandro “Alex” Valadez, was killed in the line of duty in 2009 when he and his partner were investigating a report of shots fired in West Englewood. The convicted gunman was sentenced to 125 years in prison in 2011. Valadez died three months before his son was born.
Sometimes you have to make the ultimate sacrifice,” Johnson said. “Alex Sr. did that. … He was part of the CPD family then, he’s a part of the CPD family now, you’re a part of the CPD family forever.”
After the graduation ceremony, the children were greeted by the officers, police horses and dogs, a group of firefighters and two firetrucks with their ladders raised outside the church.
“That’s what they do when they honor someone who died,” one mother explained to her child quietly.
The boy completed a second rite of passage that morning. In a corner of the parking lot behind a police van, Valadez’s family surrounded him as a handful of officers unveiled a brand new bike.
There are three kinds of people in the world. There are wolves and there are sheep. And then there are those who protect the sheep from the wolves.
To the family and loved ones of Officer Valadez. May beautiful memories comfort you always.
My loyal friends: May the “Force” be with you.