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Funeral, memorial services scheduled for Newport News police officer, Navy veteran

Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew becomes emotional while speaking about officer Katie Thyne during a press conference Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 in Newport News, Va. Thyne died Jan. 23 after being dragged during a traffic stop.

(JONATHON GRUENKE, DAILY PRESS/TNS

By PETER DUJARDIN | Daily Press | Published: January 30, 2020

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Tribune News Service) — With a wake and funeral scheduled for this weekend in Massachusetts, a local memorial service for the Newport News police officer killed in the line of duty will be held Monday.

The service for Officer Katherine M. “Katie” Thyne — which is open to the public — is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at Liberty Baptist Church, at 1021 Big Bethel Road in Hampton.

“The Newport News Police Department invites you to join us as we celebrate the life and service of Officer Katherine M. ‘Katie’ Thyne," the department said in a social media post. “End of Watch: January 23, 2020.”

Thyne, who was 24, was a former Navy petty officer who joined the department in November 2018 and graduated from the police academy in June.

She was the first Newport News police officer killed in the line of duty in more than 25 years.

At about 6:37 p.m. on Jan. 23, police said, she and another officer were questioning the driver of a parked car at Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park on 16th Street in Southeast Newport News. The driver sped off, with Thyne caught in the car door, and dragged about a block.

Two days later, hundreds of police officers and vehicles from various agencies took part in a massive procession on Saturday from the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Norfolk to a funeral home in Newport News.

The hearse stopped for a moment of silence at the South Precinct Station on Jefferson Avenue, where hundreds lined the streets outside. As the motorcade passed through, some spectators teared up, others placed their hands over their hearts and children waved flags.

On Monday afternoon, a smaller motorcade — 14 motorcycles, the hearse and about 30 Newport News police vehicles — took Thyne’s casket from the Altmeyer Funeral Home on River Road in Newport News to the Norfolk International Airport.

Hampton Police blocked several major intersections on Mercury Boulevard to allow the motorcade to pass through, while the Virginia State Police troopers stopped traffic on Interstate 64 to make way for it, Newport News police spokesman Officer Brandon Maynard said.

When the motorcade crossed the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel into Norfolk, Maynard said, the Norfolk Fire Department had just put out a car fire on the westbound side of I-64.

“A lot of (the firefighters) turned around and saluted the motorcade, and I thought that was very respectful.”

At the airport, a police honor guard loaded the flag-draped casket into an American Airlines flight bound for Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Police later released pictures of the airport transfer, including the honor guard, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew and Assistant Chiefs Mike Grinstead and Eric Randall saying a prayer at the casket, and Thyne’s 2-year-old daughter, Raegan Grace, kissing the casket.

“We miss you, Katie,” the Newport News Police Department posted on Facebook in releasing the images.

“It was a touching moment for a lot of people,” Maynard said, recalling a Norfolk airport worker who was “very heartfelt" as she helped with the transfer. “They had some emotions for it too, even though they didn’t know Officer Thyne.”

Once in Boston, the officer’s casket was transported by the Pelham, N.H., Police Department to the Morse Bayliss Funeral Home in Lowell, Massachusetts.

A wake will be held from 3-8 p.m. Friday at the Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell, Massachusetts, and a Catholic Mass of the Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, also at Immaculate Conception Church.

Burial with full military and police honors will follow at the Lowell Cemetery.

Drew, Grinstead and the eight-person Newport News Police honor guard will represent the Newport News Police at the Massachusetts services. Other Newport News police officers who want to attend and “who are able to take off as long as manpower (needs) permit” can attend the Massachusetts services “on their own accord,” Maynard said.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the Officer Thyne Memorial Fund; the Newport News Police Foundation; P.O. Box 120496, Newport News, VA, 23612, or on the foundation’s website at nnpolicefoundation.org. Donations are in support of Thyne’s daughter.

©2020 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
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