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'Fact that he's here today is a miracle': Officer Tyler Moldovan presented with his official Phoenix police badge

Officer Tyler Moldovan was shot in the line of duty in December, and against all odds, has worked to recover. The department gifted him his official badge Saturday.

PHOENIX — Warm-ups in the outfield. Batters taking swings on the first baseline. The roof closed. 

It feels like the morning of gameday at Chase Field. 

But there's much less Sedona red, it's traded out for blue and gold instead. The players themselves traded out their badges for bats. 

"This is so exciting," Executive Assistant Chief Mike Kurtenbach with the Phoenix Police Department said. 

RELATED: Community welcomes home Officer Tyler Moldovan after his release from rehab facility

It's a group of a little more than 20 officers, getting to play softball against each other in Gonzo's Hometown Heroes Community softball game, put on with Operation: Blue Ribbon

"So thankful to Gonzo for hosting this and just letting us go out there and have fun," Commander Brian Issitt said. 

Officers' families and some community members were in the stands and their names were announced through the public address announcer just like Arizona Diamondbacks players.

It's a fun day, after months of hard ones. 

Phoenix police have had 9 officers shot in the line of duty since December. 

"I've been doing this job a long time, and there have been a lot of hard days, and that was an incredibly hard day," Kurtenbach said, reflecting on December 14, 2021. 

That's the day Officer Tyler Moldovan was shot eight times answering a disturbance call. 

"To have been at the hospital that morning and to hear the news that we heard, and to see that God had a plan and to see the way that Tyler is today it’s such a blessing," Kurtenbach said. 

Commander Brian Issitt, head of the department's Desert Horizon Precinct, remembers the day too. 

Issitt said Moldovan was his officer, stationed out of his precinct when he was shot. 

"Nothing prepares you as a leader for having an officer of yours that's shot. Really, mortally wounded," Issitt said. "I mean Tyler wasn't expected to survive." 

Six months later, Moldovan is the honorary captain of the team playing Saturday morning. 

Getting to kick off the game with a "Play ball!", but getting surprised with something more. 

"Every officer when they graduate the academy, they get a badge that doesn't have a serial number on it. It's a loaner," Issitt said. "Tyler was shot in the line of duty before he was off probation. So, he’s been patiently waiting for that badge and pretty sure he’s earned it." 

The badge is personalized with his number: #11118. 

A smile practically burst out of Moldovan at being presented with his official Phoenix Police Department badge. 

"I'm really proud of you and I know you've been waiting for this for a long time," Issitt told Moldovan.

Moldovan was quick to say thank you - at least twice to his commander. 

"Just the mere fact that he's here today is a miracle," Issitt said. "It just seems every time there's an obstacle, there's another miracle." 

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