Ceremony honored fallen police officer, partner

GIRARD — An event to honor fallen police officer Justin Leo on the floor of the Ohio Senate also acknowledged his partner the night Leo was shot and killed.

Mathew Jamison’s name had been kept a secret while the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation looked into the events of Oct. 21 and after the investigation was done and given to Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins.

Watkins said Thursday the revelation “has no effect” on his review of the findings, which should be complete soon.

State Rep. Sean O’Brien presented Leo’s parents, Patricia and David Leo, with a resolution in a short, but emotional ceremony Wednesday on the Senate floor. In his remarks, O’Brien, D-Bazetta, said, “That day, the Leo family lost a son, a cousin. Our community lost a pillar of our community.”

The resolution number was 324, the same as Leo’s badge number.

Said David Leo, “Our community over the last months has shown us so much love and appreciation. Every day they support us.”

O’Brien also presented Jamison, Leo’s partner, with a citation, saying “due to his heroic actions that day, he saved countless lives.”

Leo was shot while responding to a call for domestic violence at a home on Indiana Avenue and died after being taken to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. The shooter, Jason Marble, was shot and killed after Leo’s partner returned fire.

Girard police Chief John Norman, who attended the ceremony, said acknowledging Jamison was also a “special moment,” too, but declined to comment further because Watkins is not finished with his review.

Jamison has returned to work, but Norman declined to say when.

Mayor James Melfi, who was present with the Leo family, said he not only hired Leo, he also witnessed him grow as a boy into a man involved in youth sports as an umpire and coach.