GOOD NEWS NJ Police Officer Wears Badge Number of Cop Who Saved His Life 30 Years Ago
'If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here today.'
A newly sworn-in New Jersey police officer is honoring the officer who saved his life nearly 30 years ago in a very special way.
Leonel Tejera, who became an officer with the Perth Amboy Police Department on Wednesday, was inspired to go into law enforcement after Officer Kenneth Puccio saved his life when he was an infant.
Puccio, now retired, performed CPR on the then-14-month-old Tejera when he stopped breathing in May 1989.
Now, nearly three decades later, Tejera is an officer with the same police department and he proudly wears Puccio's badge No. 111.
"If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here today," Tejera said on "Fox & Friends" Friday.
He said Wednesday's ceremony -- in which he was sworn in by Puccio -- was very emotional, and he's excited to be a part of the "blue family."
As for getting Puccio's badge number, Tejera said that was a last-minute surprise.
Puccio explained that after he retired in 2013, his badge number was recycled, so he spoke to the officer who had No. 111, and the officer willingly offered it up.
"Due to the circumstances, he had no problem giving it up," Puccio said.
Tejera said it's an honor to follow in Puccio's footsteps, although he acknowledged he certainly "has big shoes to fill."
Watch the moving "Fox & Friends" interview above.