Then an officer presented the young LAD with his own SWAT shirt as he made his way to the door of Sullivan Elementary School.
"He will definitely know his dad was a hero", Kelli Jones, Rob Pitts' sister, told WTHI-TV.
"Welcome back to school, bud", one of the officers says.
The officers weren't just from Terre Haute, where Dakota's dad Rob Pitts was an officer.
It was tough for the son of a fallen IN police officer to return to school Monday, more than a week after his father died IN the line of duty - but he was helped by some members of the community. What a lovely gesture for him on what we're sure was a daunting day.
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"Dakota thought a lot of his father being a police officer".
Officer Pitts and his team approached an apartment complex Friday evening where an armed murder suspect was barricaded inside. But when Dakota arrived, he was shocked to see who was there to greet him.
More than 70 police officers escorted five-year-old Dakota Pitts on his first day back to school after his dad was killed in the line of duty.
Officer Pitts was a 16-year member of the Terre Haute Police Department following six years with the police force in the nearby city of Sullivan, where he lived and was buried. "Thank you for your continued prayers".
"Blood doesn't always make family and I think the blue family went above and beyond". "It was really great the officers came to support him".