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Thousands pay tribute to fallen Fryeburg officer

Officer Nathan Desjardins (Maine Warden Service)

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- Thousands of law enforcement officers and first responders from across New England and beyond paid tribute to fallen Fryeburg Police Officer Nathan Desjardins Friday morning.

The ceremony began at 10 a.m. with an outdoor procession at the Augusta Civic Center.

More than 2,000 officers, first responders, family and friends were there for the ceremony.

Officer Desjardins was only 20-years-old.

His family says he suffered intensive head trauma when the rescue boat he was in on the Saco River crashed and he was thrown from the boat.

It was his first day of water rescue training.

He was out on the river trying to rescue a canoeist who had fallen in the water.

The family brought the urn for Friday’s tribute.

Before becoming a police officer, Desjardins spent a year as an EMT.

Family, friends and coworkers say his passion was his desire to help people.

Governor Paul LePage has ordered all flags to be lowered to half-staff on Saturday in honor of the fallen officer.

The Maine Warden Service says Desjardins is the 85th law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty.

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