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IMPD remembering 1st female officer killed on duty

Teresa Hawkins was struck and killed by a drunken driver 30 years ago Thursday
Teresa Hawkins.jpg
Posted at 1:17 PM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 18:29:33-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Officer Teresa Jean Hawkins was on her way to assist an ambulance crew when her squad car was struck by a drunken driver on the northeast side 30 years ago.

On Aug. 17, 1993, Hawkins was the first female officer in Indianapolis to die in the line of duty. She was 28.

Teresa Hawkins.jpg
Officer Teresa Hawkins

On the 30th anniversary of her death, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will commemorate Hawkins when North District officers gather for roll call on 30th Street.

"She always wanted to be a detective. She always wanted to be like one of the Charlie's Angels," said Joe Hawkins, Teresa Hawkins' brother. "She just wanted to make a difference and to show that women can do the job that men can do, and that the women belong in the police department."

Hawkins was driving a Chevrolet Caprice patrol car with flashing lights and sirens when it was struck by Ford LTD driven by Elvis L. Lacy at Emerson Avenue and North 36th Street, according to IMPD.

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Indianapolis Police Officer Teresa Hawkins died in this crash on the near north side on Aug. 17, 1993.

Lacy was speeding when he ran a stop sign and T-boned Hawkins' vehicle on the driver's side door. The force of the collision pushed the squad car into a utility pole.

Police said Lacy had a blood-alcohol level of 0.191%, nearly twice the legal standard at the time. Lacy pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and other crimes and was sentenced to the maximum eight years in prison, IMPD said.

Hawkins had been an Indianapolis police officer for 5-1/2 years. She is buried in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in her hometown of Tipton.

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at victor.ryckaert@wrtv.com or on Twitter: @vicryc.