Retired Lake County deputy remembered by officers, community

Dep. Rick Perrin: 'That was the kind of officer I wanted to be'

LAKE COUNTY — Doug Libby just didn't wear a badge, he embodied what public service was all about. He was not only just a police officer, he was a mentor who shaped not just the youth he worked with as a D.A.R.E officer at Baldwin Community Schools, but also young deputies who came on with the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Doug Libby died Dec. 28, 2022, and although he's been retired since 2005, he made a lasting imprint, and lives on through the people he influenced.

Shortly after graduating in 1972 from the Redford High School in Detroit, Libby attended Police Academy and became a police officer, serving on the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and  Detroit Police Department before coming to Lake County Sheriff's Office, where he worked with youth as a D.A.R.E. Officer, and worked at the GEO Correctional Facility. He proudly wore his badge for 40 years.

Lake County Dep. Rick Perrin recalls working with Libby at the sheriff's office.

"He was a modest and humble man. I can tell you that," Dep. Rick Perrin said. "I came into this career being that rookie cop, and here I was working with this veteran cop, Doug, who was from Detroit, so he was quite influential to me."

Perrin, who was awarded two unit citations with the LCSO for 2022, credits Libby with being that steady force that was even like a father figure.  

"Working with him, I think, taught me some patience in this job, and to be calm and cool under pressure," Perrin said. "He's played a pretty good role for me in getting started in law enforcement and I guess, now that I'm looking at it, now I'm getting up there in age, I'm kind of seeing a little bit of Doug in myself.

"He was kind of quiet, reserved. He's the kind of guy that if you questioned something, 'Like what?' and he would lower his chin, raise his eyebrows, looking over his glasses and just give you that look. I guess you can say he was almost like a father figure to me when I was a rookie. Just an all around good guy."

Perrin said sometimes after work they would shoot pool and hang out, and he was an easygoing all-around nice guy. He lost contact after Libby retired, but ran into him a couple years back. It pained him to see Libby struggling with health issues, but he holds on to that lasting influence.

"Just being in his presence, that was the kind of officer I wanted to be," Perrin said. "I do train new officers that come in, and it's my hope I can pass that same kind of atmosphere of being calm and cool under pressure to the new people that are coming in," Perrin added.

Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin spoke to Libby's honor on behalf of the department.

"All of us at the LCSO are saddened to hear of the passing of Doug Libby. Doug was a former deputy with LCSO as well as serving in law enforcement for 40 years. Rest easy sire! Thank you for your service. It was great to know you and you will be missed by all," Martin stated.

In the community, Libby is well remembered, too. Chris Reese Trucks recalls seeing him around town.

"He had a funny dry humor," she said. "I only knew Doug from coming into the pharmacy and just seeing him around town. I do know he was a good influence on the kids at school when he was the D.A.R.E officer."

Although life was cut short, Libby's legacy lives on and through the community he served for so long.