Dozens of Chicago police officers attend Whiting middle school graduation for son of fallen officer

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Friday, May 24, 2024
Officers attend middle school graduation for son of fallen CPD officer
Dozens of Chicago police officers attended a Whiting, Indiana middle school graduation Thursday for the son of fallen officer Alex Valadez.

WHITING, Ind. (WLS) -- Dozens of police officers attended Alex Valadez Jr.'s middle school graduation Thursday, after his Chicago police officer father was killed in 2009.

Alex Valadez Jr. walked into his 8th grade ceremony in Whiting, Indiana with dozens of men and women in blue applauding at his side. He shook the hand of Chicago's top cop, Supt. Larry Snelling.

The dozens of officers stood in place of the one man who could not be there, his father, fallen Chicago Police Officer Alex Valadez Sr.

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"Just to see his son walk through and know that he has the support of the Chicago Police Department after losing his father for trying to keep the city safe, it means the world not only to me but the family," Snelling said.

It gives me motivation to do big things to honor my father
Alex Valadez Jr.

Officer Valadez was shot and killed in June 2009 when he and his partner responded to a shots fired call in Englewood.

Valadez never got to meet his son, who was born three months after he was killed. Members of Chicago Police Department stepped up and showed up where Officer Valadez would have been.

"They've been here for him since Kindergarten and they continue to show support throughout the years, and we're very, very thankful," Valadez Jr.'s mother, Christina Jackson, said.

The ceremony at St. John the Baptist Catholic School was no exception to the department's loyalty.

Valadez Jr. walked out of his graduation ceremony to same show of support he had walking in.

"It feels good. It gives me motivation to do big things to honor my father," Valadez Jr. said.

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"When we lose an officer, we have to think about what that family loses also," Snelling said. "We have to be here to make sure that we take care of the family because if they give the ultimate sacrifice, the least we can do is take care of the families."