Dozens of Texas police officers escorted the children of an Amarillo police officer to their first day of school following their father’s on-duty death. Officer Justin Scherlen died two weeks ago following his injuries from an on-duty car crash.
School officials called the response, “an army of stand-ins,” Fox News reported Friday. Scherlen’s patrol unit was struck by a Jeep that crossed the centerline after it’s headlights shorted out, police reports indicate. The officer received multiple injuries and had to be cut out of the patrol car, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.
Scherlen spent time in intensive care and survived multiple surgeries to repair his broken bones and internal injuries. He spent months in physical therapy thereafter.
The Amarillo police officer died earlier this month in New Mexico where he was on vacation with his wife and children. The cause of his death has not yet been released.
— Amarillo ISD (@AmarilloISD) August 22, 2016
As a show of support, fellow police officers arrived at Scherlen’s home to escort his children to their first day of school. Scherlen’s four-year-old son, Jackson, greeted each of the officers with a hug, Fox News Insider reported.
His wife, Jessica, said her late husband “would be very proud of how his brothers and sisters have stepped up to be here for his kids.”
Officer Scherlen was the 71st police officer to die in the line of duty this year, the Officer Down Memorial Page noted. He was the eleventh officer to die from an on-duty automobile accident.
Texas currently leads the nation in on-duty deaths of law enforcement officers. Fourteen Texas police officers have died from duty-related causes this year.