Trooper Memorials become reality with a little help from Columbus judge

For nine years, Judge Michael P. Cielinski has worked to see that those who serve and protect Georgia’s motorists as Georgia State Patrolmen and have lost their lives are adequately memorialized.  In 2012, the fruits of Judge Cielinski’s effort began to realized when the Georgia General Assembly passed resolutions to honor 10 of those troopers who lost their lives in the line of duty, some of whose deaths occurred more than 50 years ago. In the past two sessions, the General Assembly passed 12 additional resolutions, including one that hit close to home for Judge Cielinski.
altIn 1977, Trooper William Gaines Andrews, Jr., was 15 minutes short of finishing his shift.  He began pursuit of a speeding vehicle and lost control of his car, striking a tree.  Cielinski, who served as the attorney for the Columbus Police Department was summoned to the scene of his friend’s crash. Trooper Andrews died a day later.
Seeing that his friend, along with other troopers killed in the line of duty, was honored for his sacrifice is only one of Judge Cielinksi's accomplishments.  For 37 years he has served as judge of the Recorder’s Court of Columbus-Muscogee Countyy.  He has been active in the Council of Municipal Court Judges serving in leadership roles up to and including as its President. He was the first Municipal Court Judge to serve on the Judicial Council.

On May 29, 2014, the sign memorializing Trooper Andrews was unveiled just outside of Talbotton on Georgia Highway 41.  A ceremony at the Upson-Lee Fine Arts Center in Thomaston was held as well as a wreath-laying ceremony at the burial site of Trooper Andrews.

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