Daryl Raetz: 400 Police Officers Attend Kindergarten Graduation of Fallen Comrade’s Daughter

On Wednesday, May 22, Tatum Raetz graduated from kindergarten. Three days earlier, her father, Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz, was killed in the line of duty in a hit-and-run car crash.

In a touching and utterly inspiring move, nearly 400 police officers from precincts all over the city gathered in the small school auditorium to show support for Tatum, her mother Stephanie, and her father, Daryl.

Officer James Holmes shared the experience of the Phoenix Police Department family by stating "She had 300, 400 parents up here for her this morning … It was absolutely amazing. It was bittersweet and it was a bit overwhelming for all of us."

"We tried to keep this small," Holmes continued. "We tried to keep this to Daryl's squad and his precinct … But the word got out that this was happening and it went viral within the department and there was absolutely no way that you could keep officers who could be here away from here. They came, even with their families."

In a wash of blue and black uniforms, police officers stood in line clapping, smiling and congratulating Tatum and her mother and they walked together into her graduation ceremony. Many of these officers didn't even know Officer Raetz personally. Raetz's sergeant, Ben Kartchner, described the tightly knit family ties within the police department. "There's nothing I can say about Daryl that's not evident by the number of people who have shown up today to show that support," Sgt. Kartchner stated. "The most important thing to remember is he's left a precious child and wife and it's our responsibility to make sure they're taken care of for the rest of their lives ..."

With a final show of love and support, these 400 officers will join countless others at the funeral of Officer Raetz later on this week.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Alexandra Cardinale

Alexandra Cardinale curious, quirky, and vivacious student currently researching Communications, Business and Law at New York University. Her extensive study in 16 countries have given her a unique perspective on both domestic U.S. policy and current international policy outside. She works to apply this inquisitive point of view to her writings here at PolicyMic and to any and all of her political discussions.

MORE FROM

A Steve Bannon propagandist is turning the alt-right’s antihero Based Stick Man into a comic book

"We’re never going to change the culture from Washington. We’re going to do it from comics, from movies.”

NBC News chief wanted to dial back MSNBC's liberal identity. Then Trump got elected.

Some insiders say MSNBC is having an identity crisis — but the channel is having its best ratings year ever.

What is the Senate parliamentarian? Lately, she’s been Mitch McConnell’s nemesis.

And does the GOP have to follow her rulings?

Anthony Scaramucci acknowledges “colorful language” after ‘New Yorker’ published his wild rant

Scaramucci's "colorful language" revealed the high-stakes tension going on at the White House.

Lindsey Graham says he is creating legislation to block Trump from firing Mueller

Graham said earlier that ousting Mueller would mark the "beginning of the end of the Trump presidency."

A Steve Bannon propagandist is turning the alt-right’s antihero Based Stick Man into a comic book

"We’re never going to change the culture from Washington. We’re going to do it from comics, from movies.”

NBC News chief wanted to dial back MSNBC's liberal identity. Then Trump got elected.

Some insiders say MSNBC is having an identity crisis — but the channel is having its best ratings year ever.

What is the Senate parliamentarian? Lately, she’s been Mitch McConnell’s nemesis.

And does the GOP have to follow her rulings?

Anthony Scaramucci acknowledges “colorful language” after ‘New Yorker’ published his wild rant

Scaramucci's "colorful language" revealed the high-stakes tension going on at the White House.

Lindsey Graham says he is creating legislation to block Trump from firing Mueller

Graham said earlier that ousting Mueller would mark the "beginning of the end of the Trump presidency."