It’s been two years since city police Lt. William Lebo was killed in the line of duty while responding to a residential break-in on March 31, 2022. Two years later, and Lebo’s impact on the city police force, and the city as a whole, lives on.

The Lebanon community was reminded of this fact on Thursday, March 28, as city police, local officials, and friends and family of the late lieutenant gathered at Southwest Elementary School to retrace a path similar to that taken by Lebo countless times on his way to serve the citizens of Lebanon.

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The walk began at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and culminated in a brief memorial service at Lebanon City Hall, where a wreath was laid in honor of the fallen officer, the third in Lebanon’s history and the first since 1903 to give the ultimate sacrifice in the course of protecting his community.

While Lebo – a 40-year-veteran of the force who was just a month shy of his retirement when he was killed – took a multimodal approach to his daily commute, at times trying out a pogo stick, a mini-Segway, a bicycle, and even his mother-in-law’s scooter, as now-Captain Eric Sims noted in a 2022 eulogy of his mentor, Lebo kept one thing constant: his physical presence on the streets he knew so well as a practical and community-oriented officer.

For this year’s memorial walk, there was not a pogo stick or Segway in sight, but there was an unmistakable symbol of the late Lebanon officer’s larger-than-life personality: His umbrella.

As Lebanon police Chief Bret Fisher explained in the 2023 memorial service, Lebo’s umbrella took on symbolic meaning following the lieutenant’s untimely death. Lebo brought his signature green and white golf umbrella with him any time there was a chance of rain in the forecast, said Fisher in 2023, and the umbrella remained in the police department after Lebo’s passing, occupying a spot in the former South 8th Street department headquarters where officers would see the umbrella as they left for the day.

The umbrella, Fisher said, made its way to the department’s new headquarters in City Hall after the force’s relocation in 2022, and there the umbrella found a new location.

“It’s at a place where you only really notice it when you come to work and start of your day,” said Fisher. “It’s like he’s coming to work with you and a part of him does come to work with us every day.”

Now, the William D. Lebo Memorial Foundation is keeping the umbrella as a community symbol for what it means to dedicate one’s life with honor and service to the police profession. The foundation was organized by some of Lt. Lebo’s fellow officers (Eric Sims, Ryan Margut, and Kris McCarrick), with the support of Lora Lebo, Lebo’s love of 14 years (“14 years of wonderful,” as she called them in 2022). Currently, the foundation is managed by president Rynell Root, with Ryan Margut serving as vice president.

The umbrellas symbolize Lebo’s character, his need to protect, and his care in doing so. The now-annual memorial walks don’t just honor Lebo’s memory, but the police profession as a whole, and specifically the bond that is formed by all those who have walked through the doors of the Lebanon Police Department and put on their badge – and their hat, as Lebo would have wanted – and take the oath to protect their community.

The foundation’s goals are to promote the wellbeing of Lebanon generally, to support local first responders and their children with scholarship opportunities, and to provide leadership development programs for local law enforcement officers. The umbrellas were sold before and during the walk as a fundraiser for these efforts. The foundation has already supported several initiatives in Lebanon, including donating $18,000 for the acquisition of Ares, the new K-9 unit for Lebanon Police Department.

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Find more photos of the memorial walk and memorial ceremony below.

Editor’s note: This article was updated after publication to include further detail about the William D. Lebo Memorial Foundation.

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William Trostel is a full-time freelance photographer/videographer based out of Lebanon City. Beginning his career as a hobbyist trying to film his friends skateboarding, his camera quickly turned into a passion. Within two years of being a hobbyist, William began to book portrait sessions and commercial...


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