Police officers in Akron, Ohio, went above and beyond when they escorted the daughter of a fallen brother to her first day of kindergarten.
Officer Justin Winebrenner, 32, was shot and killed on Nov. 16 after attempting to stop a gunman at a bar while off duty and unarmed. On Thursday, Charlee Winebrenner’s first day of kindergarten, officers from Akron and nearby towns showed up to her home to bring her to school.
“I thought the officers coming out was great,” Charlee Winebrenner’s mother, Alyse Shanafelt, said. “This is a really emotional time for me anyway, but I know they will always be there for her and it helps knowing that since I don’t have her father anymore to go to but I have all these guys standing in.”
Police work runs in the Winebrenner family, as the late officer’s father, Rob Winebrenner, is a retired sergeant. He was also there the day his granddaughter started school.
“As a father I see Justin in all of them …,” he said of the officers that escorted his granddaughter. "They represent Justin. They are here for him. I don’t think they will ever break their promise to be there for Charlee.
“Obviously when I can’t keep an eye on her, these guys all want to take their part. It’s about the brotherhood[.] It’s about police officers, the thin blue line. The greatest fraternity there is. So many times if you drive by and see a group of police officers you think something bad has happened, but this is a good story about police.”