DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) -- Nearly a year after Natalie Corona was shot and killed in the line of duty and following months of debate and public input, the Davis City Council agreed a water feature in Central Park is the best way to honor the fallen officer.
“There was nothing that was going to stop her from becoming an officer, which was her final goal,” said Corona’s father, Jose.
Jose Corona said it is not always easy walking into the Natalie Corona Gymnasium at Pierce High School in Arbuckle. The foyer features a picture, a portrait, and the basketball and volleyball jerseys worn by the star athlete and slain Davis police officer.
Natalie‘s sister, a freshman at Pierce, is the only person allowed to wear her sister’s jersey number. When she graduates in four years, number 11 will be permanently retired for all future athletes at the school.
Now, more honors are coming to the Corona family in memory of the 22-year-old officer. The old splash pad that has sat unused for years at Davis' Central Parkwill get a new life.
The other options included renaming the park or creating a statue of Corona.
Natalie’s father said while humbled by the gesture, he and his family believed whatever the city of Davis decided to do they would respect that decision.
“Frankly, just told them that it wasn’t our place to be demanding or asking for anything in particular,” Jose said. “Whatever the city did to honor Natalie we would be honored with that and if they decided they didn’t want to do anything, that was also OK with us.”
Now that a tribute will be moving forward in Davis, Jose said he believes a place for kids to play is a fitting way to remember the officer who loved kids herself.
“Having a place where the kids are going to be enjoying themselves and doing something fun in the summertime, and also somewhere people can come and reflect and kind of remember Natalie,” he told FOX40.
Davis Mayor Brett Lee said Wednesday night the next step is to have city staff figure out what to do with the water feature. They will either replace the old splash pad or build a new variation at a different part of the park. They hope to have those answers soon.