FORT WORTH, Texas - A Fort Worth police officer’s 8-year-old daughter is touching several hearts with a simple handwritten note she wrote for her dad as he traveled to a fellow officer’s funeral.
In the age of social media and texts, 8-year-old Emily still believes in writing a handwritten note. Before her dad, Fort Worth Police Sgt. Pablo Mendoza, left to attend a New York police officer’s funeral, she slipped a note she wrote on one of her index cards into his suitcase.
The note read:
I’m sorry about NYPD officer. I pray and hope this violence stops. You are my hero. Be careful and be safe. Grace, Mom and I are going to miss you. WE LOVE YOU!!”
Mendoza traveled to New York with three other Fort Worth officers for the funeral of Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, who was shot and killed last week. Mendoza said when he found his daughter’s note, it brought tears to his eyes.
"My daughters, they see the news and what's going on — the violence toward police,” Mendoza said. “So they pray for me and other police officers on a nightly basis."
Emily's younger sister, Grace, is beginning to understand the dangers of her dad's job. Their mother says it was after the July 7 police ambush in Dallas that Emily became more curious and concerned.
"We don't cover it up,” said Diana, Sgt. Mendoza’s wife. “It is what it is. It's life. We hope there can be an end to this.”
"We have been having so much violence throughout this year, and it's getting worse,” the 8-year-old said. “So I just decided to write him a note."
Emily says she has something she does every time her day leaves for work.
"I give him a blessing, and I give him lots of kisses and hugs,” she said.
Sgt. Mendoza has been a police officer for 17 years. He comes from a family of law enforcement officers. His father is former Fort Worth Police Chief Ralph Mendoza.
With a long line of officers in Emily’s family, she has a pretty good understanding of why her dad loves his work.
"He's trying to protect our world and trying to make it even safer for people so there would be no more violence or anything like that,” Emily said.