Police escort fallen officer's kids on first day of school, give out hugs

AMARILLO, Texas -- It's a time of many heartbreaking firsts. Earlier this week, the Scherlen family of Texas had a very emotional one: It was the first time their dad wouldn't be there to see them go back to school.

Their father, Justin Scherlen, was a police officer with the Amarillo Police Department who died two weeks ago after complications from an on-duty crash, according to KVII.

So when it came time for the first day of school, dozens of Amarillo police officers surprised the kids by escorting them to school. They also lined up to give out hugs.

The Amarillo Independent School District took video of the beautiful moment where four-year-old Jackson hugged each and every officer.

The school tweeted out that the officers were an "army of stand-ins for this important first."

Officer Daniel Smith told KVII, "I'd give it all back just to have Justin here with his son."

Jessica Scherlen said she thought Justin "would be very proud of how his brothers and sisters have stepped up to be here for his kids."