Interchange dedicated to fallen Georgia state trooper - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Interchange dedicated to fallen Georgia state trooper

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Sgt. William Frederick Black Jr. Sgt. William Frederick Black Jr.
MACON, GA (CBS46) -

It took decades in the making, but Georgia's first state trooper to die in the line of duty received a special honor Wednesday.

A busy interchange in Macon was dedicated to Sgt. William Frederick Black Jr. An escaped convict shot the 29-year-old in 1940 near Ringgold during a routine traffic stop.

"I'm just blown away; it means so much. I don't know if I can tell you in words," said Glenn Mitchell, blinking back tears. Mitchell, a cousin of Black's, was one of a dozen family members who attended the unveiling of the sign at Interstate 16 and Highway 23.

The ceremony also included a wreath-laying for the Macon native, a fly-over by Georgia State Patrol and a keynote address delivered by Gov. Nathan Deal.

State lawmakers adopted a resolution during the last legislative session to designate the interchange be named in Black's memory.

"I don't think it's too late; it's never too late," said Mitchell.

The state of Georgia plans on enacting similar memorials by the end of 2014 for the remaining 26 state troopers killed on the job.

Col. Mark McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said the dedication honors not just Black but all law enforcement, those who have fallen and those who still serve.

"It puts a lump in your throat; it does. It's part of what we do, but it's not easy. And this means a lot to everybody," said McDonough.

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