Saluda to honor former police chief killed in line of duty

Published 12:43 pm Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Law enforcement officers past and present will gather tomorrow to honor Saluda Police Chief Andrew Williams, who was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 3, 1976.

The memorial unveiling and dedication will be held tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the Saluda Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Saluda. A reception will follow at the McCreery Park Pavilion. The public is invited to attend.

Williams was chief of the Saluda Police Department for approximately six years before he was killed on duty. He responded to an address on Ozone Drive after receiving a call that shots had been fired. When he arrived, the suspect shot through the porch and struck Williams, killing the chief instantly.

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Saluda Police Chief Tonya Lindsey says it&squo;s been almost 32 years and Williams was never recognized. Williams is the only Saluda police officer ever killed in the line of duty. The memorial was one of Lindsey&squo;s goals last year.

&dquo;Almost 32 years have gone by and he was never recognized,&dquo; says Lindsey, &dquo;and it is due to him.&dquo;

The dedication is being done this week in honor of National Police Officers Memorial week.

In addition to Lindsey, the service tomorrow will include the N.C. Highway Patrol Honor Guard, former highway patrolman and former Polk County Sheriff David Satterfield, who was the first on scene and arrested the suspect who killed Williams in 1976, Chaplain Larry Barnett, Dr. Tim Metcalf, DMIN and Williams&squo; family members. Pascal Reber will provide bagpipe music.

Williams&squo; brother, Walker Williams, principal of Tryon Elementary School, will be one of the family members attending the ceremony.

A commemorative bench made by Bradford Granite of Elberton, Ga., will be unveiled during the ceremony.

Any donations to Williams&squo; memorial can be made to Chief Williams Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 248, Saluda, N.C. 28773.