Loudoun County, VA – Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Deputy First Class Justin Payne died unexpectedly at his home on Aug. 7.
His exact cause of death was not released.
“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we share the sudden passing of Loudoun County Deputy First Class Justin Payne,” the LCSO said in a Facebook post.
The 38-year-old deputy joined the department’s patrol unit in April of 2005, after graduating from Shenandoah University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, according to his obituary.
He began serving as a school resource officer (SRO) at Sterling Middle School in 2008, and was most recently assigned as an SRO at John Champe High School, the LCSO said.
“Justin understood the importance of an SRO, showing an interest in each student’s academics and extracurricular activities,” the department’s post read. “He served as a mentor to many of them and we know he touched the lives of countless others, including his brothers and sisters here at the LCSO.”
In addition to his duties as an SRO, Deputy Payne was also a member of the sheriff’s office’s Rapid Response Unit and SWAT team.
“Justin Payne was a close friend, a loved and trusted member of his agency,” Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Loudoun County Chapter President Sean Dikeman told Loudoun Now. “Our thoughts, prayers and support go out to the family of Deputy Payne during this difficult time.”
The PBA has established a memorial fund to assist Deputy Payne’s young family in the wake of their loss.
Deputy Payne leaves behind his wife, Erica, and his daughter, Addison, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his parents and grandmother.
Deputy Payne was laid to rest on Wednesday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Deputy First Class Justin Payne, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.