Gorham School Resource Officer Wayne Drown, right, is pictured at the sign at Gorham High School, where he worked since 1998. Drown died Sunday of a cardiac event, the Gorham Police Department said. Credit: Photo courtesy of Gorham Police Department

Gorham School Resource Officer Wayne Drown, a 35-year veteran of the local force, has died, the police department announced Monday.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Gorham Police Department

Drown, who went by the nickname “Pooch,” “passed away suddenly [Sunday] evening from a cardiac event at Maine Medical Center” in Portland, said Deputy Gorham Police Chief Christopher Sanborn in a Monday news release.

Drown was hired as a reserve officer with the Gorham police in 1982, came on as a full-time officer in 1984 and was promoted to detective in 1986, Sanborn said. Drown became Gorham’s first school resource officer in 1992 and has worked at Gorham High School since 1998.

He coached golf and softball for Gorham High School, was “heavily involved” in the Maine Special Olympics and received the Cop’s Cop Award from the Maine Association of Police last month, Sanborn said.

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The deputy chief said Drown “was instrumental in building relationships with the Gorham school community over the years,” adding that he “touched the lives of many people.”

In a statement posted to Facebook, the Gorham School Department said its “thoughts and prayers are with the family and our community as we mourn the loss of a great man.”

Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry posted on Facebook that Drown “will be missed but not forgotten.”

“I’ve known Wayne for many years and have admired his work in the community, particularly his investment in youth,” Merry wrote. “A terrible loss for the town of Gorham.”

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Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.