Thousands attend ceremony to honor fallen Davis police officer

Thousands of people filled a pavilion on the campus of U.C. Davis on Friday to remember Davis Police Ofc. Natalie Corona.
Merced Corona, father of slain Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona, rests a hand on his daughter's casket at her graveside in Arbuckle, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. Photo by Matthew Keys/Winters Express
Merced Corona, father of slain Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona, rests a hand on his daughter’s casket at her graveside in Arbuckle, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. Photo by Matthew Keys/Winters Express

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filled a pavilion on the campus of U.C. Davis on Friday to remember and mourn a Davis police officer killed in the line of duty earlier this month. Davis Police Ofc. Natalie Corona, 22, was remembered as a community stalwart who began living her lifelong dream only to have her career cut tragically short through a senseless act of murder by a man whose motives remain unknown. “To know her was to know greatness,” Corona’s manager, Davis Police Sgt. Eric Labbe, said of his officer. “She had a ripple effect that touched and forever changed everyone she came into contact with. If you were lucky enough to get caught in her wake, as I was, you, too, would want to be a better person.” [gallery jnewsslider="true" size="medium" ids="767069,767070,767076,767077,767067,767072,767073,767071,767074,767068,767064,767063,767062,767066,767065"] Corona came from a family of public servants — her father, Merced Corona, was a member of the Colusa County Sheriff’s Department for more than two decades and now serves as a member of the Colusa County Board of Supervisors. Natalie worked hard to follow in her father’s footsteps, attending Yuba College and Woodland Community College where she graduated with an associate’s degree in criminal justice and humanities. She was invited to participate in a pilot program launched by the Davis Police Department that later turned into a position for her as a community services officer. When that position ran out of funding, Corona volunteered her time with the agency until she graduated from the Sacramento Police Department’s academy and became a full-time officer in Davis. She completed her field training just a month before her death, police said. “We all knew she was ready for the streets,” Labbe said. “She was mature far beyond her years, well-respected, and carried herself as a seasoned officer. No one ever questioned her competence.” Labbe said that officers don’t come equipped with a crystal ball that can peer into the future, but even if it did, Corona “still would have beat us to that scene while telling us, ‘I’m on it. I’ve got it covered.'” “Officer Corona could have worked anywhere, and she chose us, and to police here,” Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said. “We’ve lost an officer that truly embodied our policing philosophy.” Pytel said Corona’s badge number — 224 — and her radio call sign, X-Ray 33, will both be retired. https://twitter.com/MatthewKeysLive/status/1086340164643741696 Corona’s memorial on Thursday was attended by thousands from the public, including city officials, California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, U.S. Rep. John Garamendi and the singer Billy Ray Cyrus, who sang a rendition of “Some Gave All” that he dedicated to the fallen officer. Her memorial procession was flanked by law enforcement vehicles and officers from throughout the state, including the Sacramento County Sheirff’s Department, Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, Vacaville Police, Benicia Police and from agencies as far north as Oregon and as far south as San Diego. As the procession left Davis for Corona’s hometown Arbuckle, it passed firetrucks and other emergency vehicles positioned on nearly every overpass from Yolo County to Colusa County. The first firetruck the procession passed was from the Winters Fire Department where personnel situated along Russell Blvd. lined up to show their solidarity. A Winters Fire Department engine is parked on an overpass in Davis during the procession of Ofc. Natalie Corona on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Photo by Matthew Keys/Winters Express In Arbuckle, officers and deputies dressed in their best uniforms braved a gravel road and muddy ground brought on by recent rains to honor Corona at a formal funeral held at the Arbuckle Cemetery. The law enforcement portion of the funeral ended with a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps” on a bugle; a private ceremony followed shortly thereafter. A memorial fund has been established to assist the family of Ofc. Natalie Corona. Checks can be mailed or dropped off at the Davis Police Department’s headquarters at 2600 Fifth Street; checks should be made out to “the Natalie Corona Memorial Fund.”


With reporting from Lauren Keene of Express sister-publication the Davis Enterprise.]]>

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