UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - "I think he is looking down and sad he is not here, but I think he is glad to know that his brothers came out here to support the family and his sisters," Prince George's County Deputy Chief Chris Murtha said.
Route 4 in Upper Marlboro was lit up with blue and red lights while dozens of officers lined the side of the highway in a show of support for Nicole Findley. She lost her father, Sgt. Richard Findley, back in 2008. The officer was killed after the driver of a stolen car ran him over and dragged him.
"At the end of the day, he's the kind of guy you wanted to show up on your doorstep when you had a problem, and I think that is the best thing you can say about a police officer, from another police officer's perspective," said Deputy Chief Murtha.
The police officers applauded and turned on their lights and sirens as Nicole Findley was heading to her graduation ceremony at the Show Place Arena. It was a small attempt to fill a huge void for a young girl about to start her adult life.
"For those us with children, we know how important it is to be at graduations and we are sad her father can't be here with her today," said Murtha. "But we are glad that we can come out here and hopefully spread a little bit of cheer in her world."
It was a patriotic sight along the highway, and in speaking to the members of the Prince George's County Police Department, it was clear that taking part in this show of support was not only meaningful for the family, but also for the officers themselves in their own healing.
"We can never be the father that they lost, but it's our attempt, as humble as it can be, to come out here and try and demonstrate that we haven't forgotten and we never will," Murtha said.