Police Officers Support Fallen Comrade's 10-Year-Old Son as He Graduates Elementary School
When Baltimore Police Officer Dino Taylor was killed in the line of duty four years ago, his fellow cops didn't want his young children to ever feel alone.
So when his 10-year-old son, Tristan, graduated from Pleasant Point Elementary School Thursday, they came out in force to support him.
"While the other kids were able to look out into the audience and see their mother and father, we hoped that he looked out and saw his mother and saw police officers there too," Detective Jeremy Silbert, who attended the graduation, told InsideEdition.com. "We wanted him to not only see us but also to see a part of his father."
Officer Dino Taylor, a 17-year veteran of the department, was injured in a car crash as he responded to assist other officers in February 2012. He died six months later, leaving behind his wife, Ambre, and their two children, Tristan and Millie, who is now in the third grade.
"He really did love his family. He spoke very highly of them," said Silbert. "He was the type of person who would give the shirt off his back for you."
Ever since Taylor was killed, the police department has remained close with his family. They look out for all the families of their fallen comrades, he said.
"[Taylor's children] come to our Central District to visit and say hi," he said. "When they have birthday parties, they include the police department."
So when Taylor's wife paid them a visit recently to ask if any officers wanted to attend her son's graduation, they didn't think twice.
"We would've had hundreds of officers but we didn't want to overwhelm the school so only invited officers from the Central District," Silbert said. "We didn't want to take attention away from the other children."
So 20 officers attended the ceremony, including some who had just finished the night shift, Silbert said. After entering the auditorium, each stopped at Mrs Taylor's seat to give her a hug. Several members of the police department sat alongside her, while the others sat in two rows at the back.
"It was very emotional for her and for us," said Silbert, who admitted to shedding tears during the ceremony.
When Tristan's big moment came, the officers got to their feet and saluted him as he walked across the stage.
"I think it really meant a lot not just to the family, but to Tristan. I know he misses his dad," Silbert said. "We've been through a lot over the past four years."
And they'll be there for the family in years to come, too, including Millie's elementary school graduation in a few years.
"We'll be there whenever Tristan picks up the phone," Silbert said. "Whether it's to his birthday or another graduation or even if it's to go to the movies. If he calls and asks, we'll go."
Silbert added that he knows Officer Taylor would be proud of his son's graduation — and a lot more.
"To see how his son has stepped up to look after his little sister and be there for his mom... How could you not be proud?"