New Orleans police recruit whose father died from coronavirus graduates with his badge number

(New Orleans Police Department)

A New Orleans police recruit is honoring his father, also a cop, who died from the coronavirus, carrying on his legacy by wearing his same badge number at his academy graduation on Wednesday.

Mark Hall Jr. lost his father, veteran NOPD Officer Mark Hall Sr., just a day before his class was scheduled to graduate from the police academy, the department said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

The elder Hall had served on the force for more than 30 years before he passed away on April 30, a month after he first contracted COVID-19.

Grieving the loss of his father, the younger Hall's final exam was put on hold and he did not graduate with the rest on his class during a May 1 ceremony that was "held privately and in line with COVID-19 restrictions."

Though "undeterred by the tragic loss," Hall Jr. stayed the course and recently took and passed his final exam to graduate from the training academy on Wednesday, the post said.

“Today, Superintendent Shaun Ferguson administered the oath of office to Hall Jr., who received something even more special – his father’s badge. Hall Jr.’s mother pinned her husband’s badge, #1786, on her son’s chest to continue the family legacy of service to the citizens and visitors of New Orleans," the department said.

Hall Jr. now moves into field training with the rest of his Recruit Class #188.

“We congratulate Hall Sr. and the rest of Class 188 as they move forward in their careers in law enforcement.”