Robert Hill says following in his father's footsteps is something he's wanted to do since childhood. On Wednesday, his dream came true.
Hill, 28, graduated Wednesday from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy to become an Alexandria Sheriff's deputy. He says more than anything, he hopes his father will be proud.
"I really hope he's up there watching and he's really proud of me," he said.
Hill was 3-years-old when his father, Corporal Charles Hill, was killed in the line of duty. In March 1989, Hill, responding to a hostage situation in Alexandria, was shot by the suspect. He died at the scene.
Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne was there when it happened.
"It was a very sad day in the history of Alexandria," Lawhorne said. "You wonder if you'll ever bounce back."
Now 22 years later, Lawhorne is seeing Hill carrying on his father's legacy.
Hill says the most moving part of today's ceremony wasn't just getting his diploma--- it was being greeted by an extra special person on stage.
With graduation behind him, Hill says he's looking forward to going to work, doing what he loves doing.
"I just want to be the person that can go out and help people," he said.