Nine police officers cheered as they watched 5th grader Kaleb Crowder graduate from Northboro Elementary School in West Palm Beach on May 25. The Boynton Beach Police Department surprised Kaleb by attending his graduation ceremony after Kaleb’s father, Joe Crowder, died of a heart attack in 2016.
Crowder served the Boynton Beach Police Department for 14 years, working as a canine officer alongside police dog Daxxx. After his unexpected passing, Crowder’s colleagues promised to support Kaleb in the upcoming years.
“It meant everything to us to be there. We all felt like proud parents,” Stephanie Slater, the police department spokeswoman who also attended Kaleb’s graduation, told the Palm Beach Post. “We are so proud of the fine young man that Kaleb is and we know that Joe was smiling his giant smile this morning watching Kaleb, too.”
Kaleb was ecstatic to have the officers in attendance as he walked across the stage.
“When he was walking down the red carpet and he saw us his face just lit up,” Slater said. “He sat two rows in front of us and kept looking back at all of us. There were lots of hugs and smiles.”
See the story and the Boynton Beach Police Department’s video at the Palm Beach Post.