Loudoun County Deputy First Class Justin Payne has died unexpectedly, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday.
Payne was the School Resource Officer at John Champe High School, and was scheduled to serve as SRO at Independence High School when it opens this fall. He began his career with the Sheriff’s Office in April 2005 as a patrol deputy and had also served as SRO at Sterling Middle School and as a member of the department’s SWAT Team and Rapid Response Unit.
“Justin understood the importance of an SRO, showing an interest in each student’s academics and extracurricular activities,” wrote Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kraig Troxell. “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. He also loved woodworking and often created United States flags carved out of wood for his fellow employees.”