A new Irving police officer got a surprise during her swearing-in ceremony Thursday from her son she hadn’t seen in two years.
Officer Erika Benning raised her hand to be sworn in. She thought her husband was about to pin on her new badge.
"It was a special day," Benning said.
Seconds later, the son, Sgt. Giovanni Pando, who is the U.S. Army stationed in Germany, surprised her from behind a closed door.
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Benning broke down in tears as the family embraced.
"I'm speechless," she said. "I couldn't hold back my tears."
Instead of her husband pinning on her badge, her son did the honor.
Pando arranged the surprise visit with help from his father and the department. Benning had no idea he was coming.
I see him and it took me a good two seconds to realize that this was real," she said at a news conference at police headquarters Friday. "And then I said, 'Don't cry, don't cry.' And I don't know what happened. I cried."
Her son said he wouldn't have missed it.
"It was an overwhelming feeling because, to see her in uniform in person for the first time -- but also more than that, just seeing my mom for the first time in two years was a great feeling," he said.
Police Chief Jeff Spivey was in on the secret and said he tried not to ruin the moment.
"It was a true honor to be a part of something so powerful, that meant so much to one of our new police officers," Spivey said.
"It's just something I wanted to do," Pando said. "I wanted to be there for her."