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Watch out for the boys in blue

On Thursday, Greater Nashua and Alvirne High School suffered a great loss.

Katie Thyne, a 24-year-old police officer in Newport News, Virginia, and a 2013 graduate of Alvirne High, died after being dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop.

Thyne had served in the U.S. Navy before joining the Newport News Police Department, and eaves behind a 2-year-old daughter and a partner, as well as her mother, stepfather and brother.

The driver is facing felony homicide charges, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said, but that certainly is no consolation to her loved ones or those in the community that knew her well.

“Katie was a true hero,” Drew said. She had been here a short time with us, but she made a big impact on this department. She was just full of life. She was always smiling. Always.”

“This is what she wanted to do,” Drew added. “She wanted to be in law enforcement, and she wanted to do it in this city. She was very active in the community. Sometimes, we try to teach that. But she got it.”

Officials at Alvirne High School recognized Thyne’s loss via an emotional Facebook post: “The Alvirne faculty and staff would like to express our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Officer Katie Thyne who lost her life in the line of duty on 1/23/20. Katie was a graduate of the Class of 2013 and an officer with the Newport News Police Department in Virginia.”

What makes this even more of a tragedy, is that incidents like this one are avoidable.

It reminds us all that we must pay attention on the highway, and to always yield give emergency vehicles a wide berth.

Law enforcement officials, firefighters and first responders do so much to make our communities safe. We must return the favor so that no family has to go through what the Thynes have.