NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Saturday marks one year since Newport News Police Officer Katie Thyne died in the line of duty.
When reminiscing on her life, family and friends often talk about her smile and the impact it had on others. That smile, sadly, now only lives on in memories and photographs.
Officer Thyne protected and served until the day she died, January 23, 2020, one year ago on Saturday. The 24-year-old mother was killed while attempting to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle suspected of having drugs inside.
At some point during the encounter, the driver accelerated, dragging Thyne. The vehicle fled the scene and crashed nearby in the area of 16th Street and Walnut Avenue.
Chief Drew spoke of Officer Thyne at his end-of-the-year press conference on Friday.
"Last year was a rough year, right?" he said. "[Katie] was the first officer we've had in about 25-26 years that's been killed in the line of duty and she gave her life serving this city."
365 days without her, but 365 days honoring her. This last year we have seen an outpouring of love from near and far, those who knew her and those who didn't.
Community members stepped up to plant a garden in her name and hold multiple fundraisers doing activities Thyne loved. Most notable were the fundraisers set up for her then 2-year-old daughter. Chief Drew said donations are still being collected and she will receive them when she's old enough.
"Officer Thyne is our family and that's how she'll be treated and remembered," Drew said.