Metro-East News

Police offer ‘first inmate’ honors for price of a raffle ticket

Wood River Police are handing out a different kind of ticket until Jan. 10, one that comes with the chance to be among the new jail’s first inmates.

Officers are selling raffle tickets for $10, part of the Wood River Police Association’s efforts to fund the Officer Down Memorial that will be in front of the new Wood River Police Department. Eight winning ticket holders will get to be the first inmates, including having their booking mugshots taken and eating a meal with police officers.

The drawing is planned for noon Jan. 10 at the Wood River Police Department.

Police officers are selling tickets, and tickets are also available at the Wood River Police Department at 111 N. Wood River Ave. in Wood River.

Two Wood River officers have died in the line of duty. Chief of Police Samuel Thompson was shot in 1912 while making an arrest. He shot and killed the suspect but died of his own wounds, Wood River Police say. Village Marshal John Phipps died in 1916 after being bitten by a rabid dog that he was trying to catch after it had bitten a girl.

The memorial will also honor the brother of a Wood River officer. Evan Burns, an officer in Caruthersville, Missouri, was killed in 2011 when he was struck by a suspect driving a stolen car. His brother, Aaron, is an officer with the Wood River Police Department.

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535; @MaryCooleyBND