NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — At the beginning of the new year in January, it had been nearly 26 years since the Newport News Police Department lost an officer in the line of duty.
Just a few weeks later, the community and department were rocked by the death of Officer Katie Thyne.
Thyne, a 24-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, responded to a call about suspicious drug activity near Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park Jan. 23. She was dragged by the suspect vehicle for about a block before the vehicle crashed and pinned her against a tree. She died later that night from her injuries.
Wednesday morning, an annual memorial service — usually held in March but pushed back because of the pandemic — honored her and 11 others who have died in the line of duty in the city.
Several speakers took to the podium and told stories of how their lives have been affected by police officers.
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“I know you’re out there every day being heroes and making the world a better place,” said Mike Webb Jr., a young adult commissioner whose father is an officer.
At the end of the ceremony, a smiling portrait of Thyne in her uniform was revealed.
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said this ceremony continues their healing and is a reminder that any day could be their last.
“When we mark off the radio and we take this uniform off, we pillow our head at night, we forget no one is promised tomorrow. It’s one of the reasons we have this sanctuary, we have prayer opening and closing. To remember that none of us, none of us are promised tomorrow,” said Drew.
Thyne’s portrait will be hung at the police department’s headquarters in the foyer, that way everyone who comes in will see it and be reminded of her.
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