Police stand in for fallen officer at daughter's graduation - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Police stand in for fallen officer at daughter's graduation

Tatum Raetz, 5, graduated from kindergarten at Ridgeline Academy in Anthem. (Source: CBS 5 News) Tatum Raetz, 5, graduated from kindergarten at Ridgeline Academy in Anthem. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Hundreds of Phoenix police officers attended in a display of  support. (Source: CBS 5 News) Hundreds of Phoenix police officers attended in a display of support. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Officers let the family know they were there for them. (Source: CBS 5 News) Officers let the family know they were there for them. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Fallen Phoenix police Officer Daryl Raetz. (Source: Phoenix Police Department) Fallen Phoenix police Officer Daryl Raetz. (Source: Phoenix Police Department)
ANTHEM, AZ (CBS5) -

Hundreds of Phoenix police officers showed their support for a fallen colleague by attending his daughter's kindergarten graduation in Anthem on Wednesday.  

Officer Daryl Raetz was killed in the line of duty while working the scene of a DUI arrest near 51st Avenue and Cambridge early Sunday morning. Raetz, 29, an Iraq war veteran, joined the Phoenix Police Department on June 8, 2007.

Phoenix police officers, showing how much the Raetz family means to them, greeted a motorcade at the school carrying 5-year-old Tatum Raetz.

[Slideshow: See photos of Tatum Raetz's special graduation day]

"The purpose of us is to be here in proxy for Daryl and to let her know that we're here for her," said Phoenix Officer Keith Garn.  

Uniformed officers three deep lined the walls of the room where Ridgeline Academy held the ceremony.

"This is wonderful," said Phoenix Officer Sara Garza. "It's uplifting. It's just the most important thing that we can do. We honor his memory, but we celebrate and we're there with his family."

Police Chief Daniel Garcia was among the troops attending.

Principal Keven Barker offered a moment of silence in honor of Tatum's dad. And then the festivities were under way.

The crowd was all smiles and for a little while, a grief-stricken widow got a little reprieve.

A kindergarten diploma for a 5-year-old received an Academy Award-worthy standing ovation.

The photos that followed captured memories to last a lifetime and a smile that beamed all the way to heaven.

"He's left a precious child and a wife behind, and it's our responsibility to make sure that they're taken care of for the rest of their life," said Phoenix police Sgt. Ben Kartchner.

Daryl Raetz is survived by his wife, young daughter, mother, father and brother.

Funeral services will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Christ's Church of the Valley, 7007 W. Happy Valley Rd., in Peoria.

Interment will be at Phoenix Memorial Park in Phoenix immediately after the funeral services.

Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Shadow Mountain Mortuary, 2350 E. Greenway Rd., in Phoenix.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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