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A West Virginia police officer who stood in to sing the national anthem at a basketball game has moved people to tears.

Officer Carlton Smith was on duty at West Virginia University when the singer who was booked got stuck in traffic.

Someone who remembered Smith’s singing ability – the officer was a contestant of American Idol! – asked him if he would stand in.

“They were like: ‘Hey, we need a favor. Can you sing the anthem?'" Smith told Inside Edition. "I said, ‘How long do I have?'"

Five minutes later, he gave the stadium at his alma mater a performance to remember.

The clip of that powerful rendition is now spreading quickly online.

“Officer Smith sang our anthem the way it should be sung… with emotion and love of country in his voice!” one viewer commented. “Beautifully done.”

“Any chance I get to do the national anthem is always a big deal to me," said Smith. "I was just basically hoping I didn't mess it up too much."

Watch his moving performance, above.

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