In a caring gesture, several NYPD officers sent a slain officer's 5-year-old son off to his first day of kindergarten.
After Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, who worked in the 43rd precinct, was shot and killed in the line of duty in November, officers promised to be there for his wife, Lisa Tuozzolo, and his sons Austin and Joseph.
Lisa Tuozzolo was still shocked, however, when she opened the door of her Huntington home and saw more than three dozen officers standing on her front lawn as she headed to walk Austin to his bus on Tuesday morning.
“I was blown away,” Tuozzolo said. “I found out when I opened the front door and was ready to bring Austin out for typical first day for school pictures. They said since day one that they would be here for my family and they really have stayed true to their word."
Although Tuozzolo said that Austin didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the gesture, he was excited to see all of his dad’s friends there.
“I told him that his daddy’s friends from work came to make sure he had a good start to his first day," Tuozzolo said. "He understands to an extent. He was very excited and shocked. It meant a lot to all of us."
She added that although the road has not been easy, it helps to have the support of family, friends and the police department.
“It’s been really difficult," Tuozzolo said. "There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about and miss my husband and wish he was back here with us. Not just for the first day of kindergarten, but just being able to hang out in the back yard."
Thankfully, Austin had a blast on his first day of school. His mom said he loved playing basketball in gym class and really liked his teacher.
“He was excited when he got off the bus,” Tuozzolo said.” It’s comforting to know that everyone has my back, the way Paul would have had my back, so I can do the right thing for my children."