Honoring the loss of a local hero
The Hampton Roads community experienced a devastating loss this past week in the death of Newport News police officer Katie Thyne.
Thyne was killed in the line of duty when a routine traffic stop on Thursday night took a turn for the worst. She was caught in the door of the car when the driver attempted to flee the scene.
Thyne passed away in the hospital later that night from her injuries.
Both passengers of the vehicle have been arrested and charged with homicide and narcotics charges.
Thyne left behind her mother, her fiancée to whom she just recently got engaged and her two-year-old daughter.
On Saturday, two days after her death, there was a touching police procession to move her casket to her final resting place.
Fellow service members from local precincts, fire stations and naval offices lined the streets as the procession drove past.
Fire trucks lined North 664, two of which had their ladders raised with the American flag hanging high.
The precession stopped briefly on Jefferson Avenue in front of Thyne’s assigned precinct for her captain to give her a final emotional salute.
Before saluting, Police Chief Steve Drew knelt beside the hearse and laid his hand on it to pay respects to a woman who had impacted so many others around her.
On a phone interview, Officer Huyen Stewart, Thyne’s first Field Training Officer, spoke of her like a friend.
“The impact she had on me is too big to put into words. She made being a field officer worth it. The reason I wanted to do training was officers like her. She was always happy even if I was in a bad mood,” Officer Stewart said.
She added the thing she will remember most about Thyne is her laughter.
Many people, not just officers, are remembering the impact that Thyne had on them personally.
Officer Christina O’Mara said, “We have citizens that are reaching out to our department about their interactions with her, and those interactions were positive and peaceful. She was a sweet soul.”
She had a gift for making people she pulled over feel more comfortable in stressful situations.
Thyne had quite a repertoire for serving America.
Before joining the force, Thyne was a Naval officer. She was a recent graduate of the Police Academy and dedicated her free time to coaching basketball at the Newport News Boys and Girls Club.
O’Mara stated that she was a passionate person, “the passion and desire she had to make a difference in the community was remarkable.”
The Newport News community is thankful for Thyne’s service, and her presence will be missed. ν
You can donate to Officer Thyne’s family by buying a shirt made in honor of her at https://honoraheroproject.org/products/officer-katie-thyne-memorial-shirt?_pos=1&_sid=cc9396206&_ss=r
~Kaitlin Sanata, Staff Writer~