MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - After more than seven decades, the first state trooper to die in the line of duty here in the Peach State is honored with a special memorial.
Georgia State Patrolman Sgt. William Frederick Black, Jr., of Macon, died while on the job in December of 1940 after he was shot during a routine traffic stop.
Wednesday, a sign was unveiled in his memory at Interstate 16 and Ocmulgee East Boulevard.
State lawmakers adopted a resolution during the last legislative session to have the interchange be named in Black's memory.
"In the past, we have not done a good job memorializing those servants that have literally laid down their lives in the performance of their duties," says Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, Col. Mark McDonough. "And so this is the beginning of our commitment that all 27 of those that died in the line of duty in our agency will be recognized in this fashion."
Governor Nathan Deal delivered the keynote address Wednesday at a ceremony honoring Black at the Macon Opera House. There was also a flyover by the GSP, and a wreath was laid at Black's grave.