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Ceremony held to honor Kaia Grant on first anniversary of her death

Kaia Grant one year later
Posted at 11:15 PM, Mar 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 11:10:25-04

SPRINGDALE, Ohio — One year after Kaia Grant, an officer with the Springdale Police Department, was killed in the line of duty, her family, friends and fellow officers gathered to honor her memory with a ceremony Sunday evening.

"We want to make sure that Kaia's family knows that Kaia will never be forgotten and how much her sacrifice meant," said Thomas Wells, chief of the Springdale Police Department. "That clearly this whole community, not just the police department, but the whole community stands behind them and is supportive."

Wells said Grant will be honored with a dedicated memorial plaque. And her locker, still as she left it when she responded to the call that ended her life, will become a time capsule. Wells said the locker will remain in the department's locker room until the year 2037, when Grant would have been able to retire.

Grant was killed on March 21, 2020 when 42-year-old Terry Blankenship deliberately crashed into two cruisers near State Route 4 as Grant and Sgt. Andrew Davis were preparing to put down stop sticks, police said. Blankenship was fleeing from Elmwood Place police after he evaded a traffic stop. The officers were outside of their cruisers when the crash happened.

Blankenship faces one count of aggravated murder for the purposeful killing of a police officer while on duty, one count of murder, two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide with a peace officer specification, two counts of felonious assault and one count each of weapon under disability and failure to comply. Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters announced last May that he intends to seek the death penalty.

Grant was born and raised in Wyoming, Ohio, and graduated from Wyoming High School in 2005. She had been an officer with the Springdale Police Department since 2012, and was the first Springdale officer killed in the line of duty.