NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — On National Peace Officers Memorial Day Friday, law enforcement across Hampton Roads gathered to pay tribute to their fallen officers.
The national event recognizes officers who died in the line of duty, but the traditional version had to be canceled this year because of COVID-19.
That didn’t stop the Newport News Police Department from honoring the 12 officers who lost their lives.
Officers and city leaders gathered at police headquarters for a prayer service Friday morning.
They paid tribute to all 12 officers, but the loss of one officer in particular was still fresh.
Officer Katie Thyne was killed in the line of duty Jan. 23 during a traffic stop.
She was the first Newport News Police officer to die in the line of duty in 25 years.
“I think it was important to have our recruit class here to hear it. As they get ready to start to serve the citizens of this community, they have a foundation of what law enforcement is. At the end of the day, we’re here to serve each other, to protect our city,” Police Chief Steve Drew said.
Drew said the department plans to hold its annual service as soon as it’s safe to do so — hopefully before the end of the year.
Norfolk also released a video of a man playing bagpipes to the tune of “Amazing Grace” during their memorial ceremony.
The station headquarters also has memorial wreaths lining the front of the building’s lawn to honor each of the 12 fallen officers. Each wreath includes the name and end of watch date for the officers. The flower wreaths were donated by Jeff’s Flowers of Course.
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