CMPD Officer Mia Goodwin honored with procession and memorial; here’s how you can help

CHARLOTTE — Flags are flying at half-staff across Mecklenburg County and the state in honor of fallen Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Mia Goodwin, who was killed when two semi-trucks collided and crashed into her during a separate traffic accident investigation on Interstate 85 Wednesday morning.

Outside CMPD’s University City Division office, a makeshift memorial was draped in flowers, cards and candles. A patrol cruiser stands as a memorial to honor Goodwin.

While many who have visited to pay their respects told Channel 9 they didn’t know the officer personally, they are grieving with the community.

“It really touched me,” said Lashana Wiggs. “We really just wanted to come by and pay our respects, and this supports our community.”

CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said Goodwin, 33, was married to a Charlotte firefighter and was the mother of three young children -- a 3-year-old, a 1-year-old and a 4-month-old. He said Goodwin, who had recently returned to work following maternity leave, had been with the department for six years and described her as an aspiring young woman who wanted to do more.

“I heard about the officer’s death, then I heard about the other officers, the 18-wheeler -- but what really hurt me was her kids,” said Robert Allen.

“She risked her life. she risked her life every day,” said Crystal Ashe. “And being a new mom and coming back out on the streets with three babies at home, to do what she did, she deserves everybody’s respect.”

(WATCH: Officers pay respects to fallen CMPD Officer Mia Goodwin with police procession)

Dozens of officers gathered with blue lights flashing Thursday afternoon to honor their fallen colleague. The officers left the Medical Examiner’s Office just before 3:15 p.m. to escort Officer Goodwin’s hearse to the funeral home.

In the back of the black hearse, an American flag was draped over the top of Goodwin’s casket. Reporter Tina Terry saw tears in the eyes of many officers as the procession began to move. Those officers had black lines over their badges to recognize their fallen colleague.

The three-mile journey took the hearse under bridges where Charlotte Fire Department engines were stationed. First responders saluted Officer Goodwin as she passed beneath them.

(PHOTOS: Procession for fallen CMPD Officer Mia Goodwin)

Traffic on both sides of the highway was paused as the escort passed.

CMPD officers weren’t the only law enforcement officials present; North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers and Davidson police officers also attended the procession.

Dozens of officers lined both sides of the entrance to the funeral home, standing in salute to Goodwin. Her casket was rolled into the entrance of the funeral home as her colleagues looked on.

Fallen Officer Mia Goodwin: How you can help

There are several ways the community can help Goodwin’s family.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police is collecting donations on behalf of the family, and issued the following statement:

“We are truly saddened and heartbroken at the tragic loss the law enforcement community is suffering from the news of Officer Mia Goodwin’s passing. These tragedies are reminders of the risks our women and men in the law enforcement profession make. Knowing these risks, it truly takes a hero willing to wear the badge knowing the weight it carries each day. Officer Goodwin’s dedication says all that’s needed about who she was and the impact she made on everyone that knew her.

“She should be remembered for the life she lived and not the tragedy we, as a community, grieve over today. She truly had the courage to bear the weight of the badge and gave everything for it.”

By the night of Dec. 22, the FOP raised just over $40,000, according to a post on Facebook.

Back the Blue has created a GoFundMe for Goodwin. By the morning of Christmas Eve, the organization had already raised more than $135,000.

Charlotte City Councilman Tariq Bokhari also created a GoFundMe for Goodwin’s family and was urging the community to donate. By the morning of Christmas Eve, the councilman had already raised more than $107,000.

Waterbean Coffee posted on Facebook that the company would be donating all sales made on Christmas Eve to Goodwin’s family.

(WATCH BELOW: CMPD officer killed while investigating crash on I-85)

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