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|Wisner walking trail dedicated to Linder|
About 50 residents were on hand last Friday in Wisner as the town's walking trail was dedicated to the memory of a popular police officer slain in the line of duty.
The Bill "Putt" Linder Walking Trail was officially proclaimed by Mayor Allyn Jean Luckett during the ceremony just across Highway 15 from the Wisner Police station where officer Linder worked.
His family, represented by widow Sue Linder, sons Shane and Bryan and brothers Houston and Milton as well as a number of grandchildren, was honored simultaneously at the event.
Singer-musicians Gene King and Mark Leland provided music before and after the ceremonies.
Wisner Police Chief Billy Cureington, who shared master of ceremonies duties with Mayor Luckett, lamented the loss of Linder, "not only as assistant Police Chief, but as my dearest friend."
He also recalled the aftermath of the shooting which took Linder's life on October 10, 2004 at 10 a.m. The disruption to Cureington's small staff required personnel assistance from surrounding law enforcement agencies.
Cureington presented appreciation tokens to law officials from the Louisiana State Police and the towns of Winnsboro and Columbia for assistance provided in the crisis.
State Rep. Noble Ellington and Sen. Neil Riser addressed the crowd with Ellington recalling competing with Linder as rival baseball coaches and Riser pointing to the value of Linder's law enforcement career.
Kevin Cobb, Franklin Parish Sheriff's Department recalled being a youth baseball league batter with Linder behind the plate as umpire, but said the value of Linder's life has now been extended into law enforcement classrooms. "He's a reminder for law officers to be ever vigilant about their own safety," Cobb said.
Linder was killed in the Elam community by Ray Bingham, who is now serving a life sentence without possible parole.
The dedication ceremony was planned to coincide with the 10th day of the 10th month at 10 a.m., the precise time of Linder's death.