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Walking Tall

  • 2013 Officer of the Year, Col. Michael Edmonson

    Officer of Year for 2013, Col. Michael EdmonsonColonel Michael Edmonson was appointed as the 25th Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police in January 2008 by Governor Bobby Jindal. He also serves as the Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Services and is responsible for an agency of more than 2900 employees and a budget of nearly one-half billion dollars. In his role as Deputy Secretary, Edmonson oversees the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, the Office of Management and Finance, the Office of Motor Vehicles, the Office of State Fire Marshal, the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office, and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Commission. 

    Edmonson is a career state police officer having joined the organization in 1981. He earned his Bachelor of Criminal Justice in 1980 from Louisiana State University. He also attended graduate school there and is a graduate school there and is a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and the FBI National Executive Institute.

    Edmonson began his career at Troop A in Baton Rouge, where like all new troopers he patrolled the highways carrying out law enforcement duties. Before leaving Troop A he was appointed to serve as the local Public Information Officer. That assignment would be a defining point in his career, ultimately increasing his public profile and giving him the opportunity to impact the safety of citizens throughout the sate. He later became the chief spokesperson for the agency, and in his role as public affairs supervisor, he represented the agency at thousands of events, safety talks, and public safety educational initiatives. Programs that he helped to develop, earned national, regional, and local awards for their creativity and impact.

    Edmonson’s assignments in State Police afforded him with unique opportunities to implement and supervise a variety of support activities that benefited troopers throughout the state. He directed the complex implementation of a statewide 800MGz communications system, supervised the implementation of a statewide, automated fueling system, and oversaw the acquisition and maintenance of a statewide fleet of nearly 1600 vehicles.

    Edmonson’s service and contributions would help state and regional public safety agencies better coordinate their law enforcement efforts. As a commander he administered the operations of the statewide Law Enforcement Network, the state’s Sex Offender Registry, and the state-of-the-art Automated Fingerprint Identification System. As a command inspector he managed the training activities of the State Police and oversaw the Joint Emergency Services Training Center, a 1500 acre $42 million first responder training facility. He is also a founding board member and a former state coordinator for the Louisiana Amber Alert System.

    From 1982-2008 Edmonson served as the head of security for the LSU Football Team and provided personal security for each LSU Head Football Coach, from Jerry Stovall to Les Miles.

    Mike is married to Suzanne and they have four children: Brittney, Casey, Michael, and Cade. Active in civic, church, and youth programs, he makes his home in Baton Rouge.

  • New York Times Obituary for Buford Pusser

    The New York Times, Thursday, August 22, 1974

    Buford Pusser, Sheriff Depicted In ‘Walking Tall’ Film, Is Dead

    Jo Don Baker starred in the original "Walking Tall" movie

    Buford whose exploits as a crusading sheriff in McNairy County, Tennessee, were related in the hit movie “Walking Tall,” was killed in a traffic accident early yesterday, only hours after he had agreed to star in a sequel to the movie that made him famous.

    According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Mr. Pusser, who was 36 years old, died when his red sports car careened off Highway 64 near Selmer, Tennessee crashed into an embankment and caught fire.

    Mr. Pusser elected sheriff of McNairy County in 1964, immediately started a crime-busting clean-up of gambling, prostitution, and moonshining in the county. Often he personally smashed up gambling equipment using a pick-ax.

    There were at least seven attempts on Mr. Pusser’s life, including one in 1967 when his wife Pauline were driving along a country road near the town of New Hope. Their car was sprayed with .30 caliber bullets and Mrs. Pusser was killed.

    The movie version of Mr. Pusser’s life ended with the shooting and his hospitalization with half his face shot away. However 14 plastic surgery operations gave him a new appearance and by wearing his hair longer, Mr. Pusser was able to cover up the scars from the ambush.

    In addition to being shot at, Mr. Pusser was knifed and beaten several times and once, thrown from a window. He often related in kind, and in some quarters he was criticized for being too tough a law enforcement officer, tending as one Tennessee newspaper put it, “to overkill in the pursuit of justice.”

    By 1970, Mr. Pusser had become legendary in the South. The movie “Walking Tall” starred Joe Don Baker, but for the sequel, “Buford,” Bing Crosby Productions had tested Mr. Pusser and decided he could play himself. He was on his way back to his home in Adamsville, Tennessee when he was killed. Mr. Pusser is survived by a daughter.

The Man

This was the man – BUFORD PUSSER – the man who became the target of many assassination attempts – one of which took the life of his wife and left him emotionally and physically scarred.

Contact Us

  • Buford Pusser Home & Museum
  • 342 Pusser St.
  • Adamsville, TN 38310
  • (731) 632-4080
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