A young woman was sworn in to the New York Police Department at a graduation ceremony this week, despite losing her father 16 years ago while he was in the line of duty.
Katrina Narvaez, 25, was one of 781 graduates at the ceremony that filled up Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Tuesday. She said she has wanted to honor him since his death, when she was nine years old.
“I didn’t really know that he was a police officer, it didn’t really process, until he died,” Narvaez told the New York Daily News. “And then I saw how people cared about him, and they told me stories about all the good things he had done, and it made me want to be like him.”
Narvaez will work in the precinct his father was assigned to when he was killed, the 70th Precinct in Brooklyn, and she will don her father’s No. 7777 shield.
Marilyn Narvaez, the new police officer’s mother, described the event as “bittersweet.”
“Bitter because what happened to my husband and sweet that I’m proud of her,” the mom told the New York Post. “It’s emotional. I wish he was here to see her have his badge.”
Narvaez’ father Federico died in 1996 after being shot in the face as he was helping a woman being harassed by a stalker.
The rookie cop said that she goes to the 70th Precinct every year on the anniversary of her father’s death to attend a ceremony where they remember that fateful day.
“It’s really nice to know that he wasn’t forgotten,” Narvaez said. “It’s not just like he gave his life and that was it.”
“I can’t tell you how much I admire your bravery and your willingness to serve,” Mayor Bloomberg told Narvaez, according to the Post. “As the father of two daughters, I can tell you I know your father is looking down now and he’s so proud of you.”