By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer
When he served the police departments of the villages of Lockland and Lincoln Heights, William "Bill" James Torbert was not a typical police officer.
Ken Johnson, Lockland police chief, said Mr. Torbert was a dedicated officer.
"He took things personally and made an effort to solve a case. He was never really concerned about the money," said Johnson. "He did a lot of good in the community and the police department."
Mr. Torbert died Tuesday at Mercy Franciscan Hospital in Mount Airy. The Mount Healthy resident was 57.
Chief Johnson said Mr. Torbert was a teacher to the new and younger police officers. He also tried to help out the people he arrested.
"He had a philosophy - if we were on a domestic or robbery call, he always said `Do the Right Thing'" to the people involved, said Chief Johnson. "When people got out of jail, they'd thank him" because he tried to help them with the court proceedings.
Mr. Torbert was born in Birmingham, Ala., to William James and Willie Ruth Torbert.
He served as an Army medical technologist in the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged in 1968.
In 1975, Mr. Torbert worked as a beat cop in Lincoln Heights and in 1982, joined the Village of Lockland's police department where he worked for 18 years. He retired in 2000 as a lieutenant. Chief Johnson said Mr. Torbert donated a lot of time helping at schools, providing security at proms and providing moral support at basketball games and wrestling events.
"If they lost, he told them it was OK," said Chief Johnson. "He cared a lot about the kids. He and his wife had foster kids living with them."
Longtime friend, Ernie McCowen, Lincoln Heights police chief and former fire chief, said he worked with Mr. Torbert for 10 years.
"He was a mentor to kids in both Lincoln Heights and Lockland," said Chief McCowen. "He helped us form one of the first Explorer posts in Lincoln Heights."
Mr. Torbert married Vinnie Belinda Wilson in 1994.
He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Pride of the Valley Masonic Lodge No. 95 in Lockland. He and his wife operated a real estate business, MarDaph Properties, LLC.
He was preceded in death by his father; a brother, Bruce Leon; and a sister, Stephanie Odette.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his mother, Willie Ruth of Roselawn; three daughters, Daphne Renee Torbert, Rashida Washington and Marshelle Wilson, all of Cincinnati; two brothers, Richard and Rod of Cincinnati; a sister, Yvonne Bronaugh of Cincinnati; and five grandchildren.
Visitation will take place 10 a.m.-noon Monday , followed by funeral services at noon at Thompson, Hall and Jordan Funeral Home in Forest Park. There will be a policeman's vigil and honor detail throughout the visitation.
Pride of the Valley No. 95 will conduct a Masonic service at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.
A full police escort will accompany the funeral procession to Dayton, Ohio, where Mr. Torbert will be interred at the National Cemetery.
TOP LOCAL STORIES
Falling temps ease flood fears
750 flee Westin fire
Making it on the outside: A parolee works to turn his life around
State budget deficits unite governors
PULFER: Are we the new Peoria?
BRONSON: Free speech - as long as it's politically correct
SMITH AMOS: Sex-change lawsuit
AROUND THE TRISTATE
Firefighters hurt at blaze
Back-to-back fires keep crews busy
DARE class for home schoolers
Arts scholarships awarded
Tristate A.M. Report
Good News: Men face-off in bid to grow the best beard
Obituary: William J. Torbert was police officer
Obituary: Sr. Mary Marguerite Bockhorst
Bicentennial Notebook: Markers to show journey to statehood
Ohio Moments: Settlement grew rapidly
Slain teen's father points to video game
Arena slapped with beer-sale ban
Students share same needle in science experiment
Columbus lays off 49
Ky. gas markups highest in U.S.
Clergy abuse victims push to hold church responsible
Men in cruelty case say they love dogs
Lexington's bishop installed
Head-on collision kills two