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Fallen Auburn police officer’s legacy lives on in the community

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:31 PM CDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - A fallen east Alabama police officer continues to make a difference in the community. Officer William Buechner, who served in the Auburn Police Department, was killed in the line of duty in May of 2019.

To carry on his legacy of service, the Gunner’s Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club in Lee County created The William Buechner Project.

“Our goal is to raise $15,000,” said the group’s Ruben Garza, who added the money will go toward buying over 200 bicycles and helmets for “three different charities.”

The idea for the project came about after the Gunner’s provided Officer Buechner’s son with a bike for his third birthday.

Their main mission is to carry on Buechner’s name. His widow, Sara Buechner, says it’s important to her family to continue his legacy.

”We have a three year old son who needs to know his dad,” she explained. “He’s not going to get to know him in person, and he’s not going to get to have that one-on-one time with him. But, he will learn about his dad through his legacy.”

His legacy of serving others will ride on through the William Buechner Project. Nearly two-and-a-half years after his death, his sacrifice is not forgotten. Blue lights still line the street in the family’s neighborhood. It’s a signal of support for Sara and her children.

A photo shows multiple houses in fallen Auburn police officer William Buechner's neighborhood...
A photo shows multiple houses in fallen Auburn police officer William Buechner's neighborhood illuminated in blue shortly after his death. Many of the blue lights are still illuminated more than two years later.(Samantha Xaysombath Smith)

“Several of these houses are people that were not living when Wil was killed, so, it’s been a continual thing for our community or for our neighborhood,” she explained.

“Will was our brother,” added Garza. “He’s, he’s, we want to just remember, remembering the best way possible.”

To raise the money, the Gunners Law Enforcement motorcycle group is selling $100 tickets to win items like a TV and a Big Green Egg. The drawing will be Oct 30 live on the Gunner’s Auburn Facebook page.

The three charities that will receive the bikes are Esparanza House, the Sheriff’s Youth Ranch, and the BigHouse Foundation.

The Buechner family is currently in Washington, D.C. for police weekend where Officer Buenchner will be honored at the Capitol Memorial Service on Saturday. You can support their trip by visiting their GoFundMe page.

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