The town of Waldoboro has named officer John Lash as its new chief of police. Lash was awarded the Medal of Valor and the Law Enforcement Purple Heart for his actions during a January 2017 incident in which he was shot in the chest. His bulletproof vest absorbed most of the impact. Credit: Courtesy Waldoboro Police Department

The town of Waldoboro has named officer John Lash to replace outgoing police chief William Labombarde.

Lash has been with the department for six years, Town Manager Julie Keizer said in an email Tuesday. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Thomas College.

Lash of Friendship is married with three children “and just the nicest guy you could ever meet,” Keizer said.

On Jan. 22, 2017, Lash was involved in a shooting incident in which he exchanged gunfire with and killed Jon Alspaugh of Waldoboro following a domestic dispute. Lash was also shot on the right side of his chest, though his bulletproof vest absorbed most of the impact.

The Maine attorney general’s office determined Lash was justified in the shooting.

He was subsequently awarded the Medal of Valor and the Law Enforcement Purple Heart for his actions, Waldoboro police Officer Jeffery Fuller said Wednesday.

Of the three applicants interviewed for the position, Lash was the unanimous choice of the search committee, according to Keizer.

Labombarde stepped down as chief effective Aug. 31 but remained interim chief until Lash was named. He now serves as the town’s school resource officer.

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