A loving daughter brought tears to her police office father’s eyes when she secretly flew from Florida to his New York suburb and was on the other end of his final sign-off to the dispatch room before his retirement after 35 years of service.
Scott Lawida, 64, a senior investigator with the Amherst Police Department in New York, had no idea his 22-year-old daughter Maddi was set to come on the other end of the line.
After Scott was thanked for his service, Maddi spoke, saying how proud she was of her father and how much she loved him.
When everything began to click, a choked-up Scott said, “Thank you, Maddi,” before tears began to fill his eyes.
Scott had always dreamed of becoming a policeman in the community where he grew up, working his way up from a patrol officer to a Senior Investigator in the Accident Investigation Unit.
Maddi had previously told her father that it was unlikely that she could return to the Buffalo suburb for his retirement party, but as the time got closer, she did everything she could to make it.
The 22-year-old is currently at college in Orlando, Florida, and having booked a flight, she liaised with her mom about ways to capture the moment.
Maddi originally thought she would surprise her father at his vehicle, only to find out she could head to the dispatch room.
With that plan in place, Maddi asked her mom to record her father as he signed off from his vehicle, keeping things a surprise by telling Scott that the video was a FaceTime call to Maddi in Florida.
She said: “On the dispatch end, I obviously didn’t get to see my Dad’s reaction – I just heard him respond to me on the radio.
“When I watched the video back, it brought me to tears how surprised and choked up he was.
“I could barely speak on the radio without getting choked up myself.
“After the final call, I walked outside to where he was sitting in his police car and we reunited.
“He was so shocked that I was there, and it made me so happy that I was able to do the surprise over the radio.”