DALLAS -- For many kids, wearing the badge is a desire from an early age. That was the same for Willie Pippen IV.
"He is my hero. Normally it's the other way around, but he has become my hero over a period of time," said his father, Willie Pippen III. "It's an honor having him as my son."
Pippen IV, a three-year veteran with DPD, definitely had a disaster of a Thursday night, but not for the reason you think.
"I actually was watching it on television," he said. He was out of town on another assignment at the time.
For some, that would be a major relief, but for a Police officer, it's just the opposite.
"It was just heartbreaking that I couldn't be here," he said. "They're my brothers, and it touches my heart. It really does hit home for all of us."
Pippen IV knew two of the officers who fell that night, but even now his message isn't one of hate.
"They (the community) don't hear officers saying we make mistakes, but we do," he said. "We're just like them. We're a part of the community as well. They just entrusted us with the job of protecting them. If people open up their minds a little bit, if people help us to help them, things will definitely, definitely turn around and get a lot better."
And DPD and DART have felt that healing process the last few days in front of DPD Headquarters.
"As a Police officer, to experience something like this is overwhelming," Pippen IV said. "We definitely appreciate it."
In the face of tragedy, love always tends to find a way; whether through flowers and notes, hand shakes and pictures, or a hug between a father and a son.