KALAMAZOO, Mich (WOTV) – The jacket Alyvia now wears to compete is meant to be an acknowledgment of the work of all police officers and a special remembrance of Officer Eric Zapata. Zapata was killed in the line of duty in April of 2011. Dixon’s father, Tony, is a retired KPS officer was a friend of Zapata’s. He says he’s honored his daughter wanted to honor his friend in this way. Check out the video above to see the beautiful tribute to Officer Zapata.
With the thin blue line and Zapata’s badge number stitched into her right sleeve, Alyvia is wearing the Dixons’ hearts – full of love for family, loss of a beloved brother in blue, and pride in horses, policing, and each other – right on her sleeve.