MANDEVILLE, La. — Capt. Vincent Libeto made one last patrol in the city he loved Friday.
Friends, fellow first responders and Mandeville neighbors lined Highway 190 to say goodbye to the fallen hero.
It took more than half-an-hour for Capt. Vincent “Vinny” Liberto’s funeral procession to pass by the Mandeville Police Department, where he worked for 25 years.
“We’ve come to show our respects today,” Morgan Wood said. “It’s a tragic situation. It’s something that shouldn’t have happened. We came to show our children how to honor our law enforcement officers.”
Signs, salutes and blue hearts greeted Capt. Liberto on his final ride past the department. The funeral procession crossed under a huge American flag hanging between two fire department ladders.
“Sometimes you take for granted that you may not go home at the end of the day,” Jeremy Windom with the Mandeville Fire Department said. “Unfortunately, even in Mandeville the possibility is there and it’s very real.”
All across Mandeville there were personal messages for Liberto, his family and the grieving police department.
“It’s obvious right now the effect it’s having on this community,” Clay Rollman, a local restaurant owner, said. “As I was in the stores today, I just felt solemnness and everybody is just feeling the weight and praying for the families and the officers that support us.”
“I think we need to support our police, more now than ever before,” Kitty Carlisle said. “The things they’re having to deal with. It’s amazing to me. I don’t know how they do a simple a traffic stop anymore. It’s just so scary.”
Folks in Mandeville say the outpouring of support for Captain Vinny is to be expected in this tight-knit Northshore community.
“Officer Vince has been around here for 30 years,” Gas Station Owner Melvin Lacrouts said. “We’ve been here since 1991. We’ve been knowing him a very, very long time.”
There is also a growing memorial to Capt. Liberto in front of the Mandeville Police Station.
“I’m going to be thinking about Vincent’s soul and how God has lifted him up to heaven and he will be looking down on us,” Kirt Frosch said.
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