This message was made clear as hundreds gathered inside the Auburn Arena for the funeral services of Auburn Police Officer William Buechner.
The fallen officer leaves behind a wife and two young children as well as his brothers and sisters in blue, who are shattered by the loss of the 16-year- veteran of the Auburn Police Department.
Services began with an open casket visitation as pictures of Officer Buechner in happier times were shared on large monitors.
Hundreds lined up to pay their respects to the officers’ family at AU’s Arena.
Just before noon Eastern time, the body of slain Auburn Police Officer William Buechner arrived at Auburn Arena for what was an emotional funeral service.
Visitation with Buechner’s family started at noon and concluded just before the 3:00 p.m. EDT funeral service.
A line of officers greeted the procession as it came to a stop just outside the arena door. The Hearse carrying the officer’s body was escorted by the Auburn Police Department’s motor squad and followed by a local motorcycle club that he was a member of called “The Gunners.”
There were more than 3000 officers in Auburn today, from local and national law enforcement communities, with more local honor guards from all corners of Alabama and the Chattahoochee Valley in attendance.
Almost four hours before the funeral service, several hundred officers were outside the arena that is home to the Auburn basketball team, which served as the gathering place to show respect for Officer Buecher.
The officers who came to Auburn from out of state call Chicago, Dallas, Aurora, Colorado; Gulf Port, Mississippi; and more as home.
There was a strong contingent from the Chattahoochee Valley here to show their support. The Columbus and Phenix City Police Departments both sent motor officers.
The Russell County Sheriff’s Office also sent a delegation of 12 deputies. The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office sent an honor guard while the Harris County Sheriff’s Office sent three cars and deputies.
Five deputies came from the Muscogee County Marshal’s Office, and still more came from all parts to pay tribute.
Buechner was described as a meticulous officer who always went above and beyond the call of duty. A loving husband and father and a man who loved his friends, and riding with his motorcycle club “The Gunners,” the fallen police officer was escorted by a lawn enforcement motorocade at least a mile long.
Together, the gathered mourners and supporters paid tribute to the man who gave his life serving his community.
There can be strength in tears, such as tonight when Auburn is a community in mourning. Yet still they stay resolute as a community, to not let hate or evil win.
Auburn Police Chief Paul Register made a promise to Buechner’s family: that the APD would honor him every day by continuing to protect the community and doing the job he gave his life for.