Kevin Truesdale becomes Alexandria Sheriff's deputy

A law enforcement graduation in Alexandria held a special meaning for one of the graduates and his family.

Kevin Truesdale is the son of an officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Wednesday, the 31-year-old officially graduated from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. He is now an Alexandria Sheriff's deputy, just like his father, Deputy William Truesdale, was.

"I wish I got to know him. Wish he was here today...But [he's] here in spirit," Kevin said.

Kevin's mother, Zita Truesdale, presented him with his certificate.

Thirty-one years ago, William was outside what was the Alexandria Prison{ } escorting a prisoner back to jail. The prisoner got his revolver and shot him in the chest. He died from his injuries.

Just last year, the Alexandria jail was officially renamed in his honor.

When Kevin was his own son's age, he vowed to follow in his slain father's footsteps.

"He followed his dream, and I couldn't stop him," Zita added. "When children that young follow their dreams, that's a good thing."

But, that doesn't stop her from worrying about whether he'll come home at night.{ }

"Call me every night.... You call me," she told her son.

For Kevin, it's been years of schooling and training to get him to this point.

Kevin said, "I had some hurdles to overcome, but my faith, my family, my support [was] everywhere I needed to be..."

In taking his oath to protect the public, Kevin understands the risks, but he will proudly wear the badge his father wore before him.