Brock Caton

FARMINGTON — Brock Caton, director of Public Safety/chief of police at the University of Maine at Farmington, is being deployed to Afghanistan next week in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Livermore Falls Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. has been hired to serve as part-time director during his absence, approximately a year, Caton said in an email.

The appointment was approved by Livermore Falls officials and the UMF administration, he said.  

This is Caton’s third deployment during his 18½ years of military service with the Maine Army National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq in 2006-2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Afghanistan in 2010-2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Caton serves with the 120th Regional Support Group of the Maine Army National Guard in Bangor, he said.

Only a part of the unit is being deployed. They will be in charge of base operations at a large military installation. 


During his absence at UMF, all full-time staff and reserve officers for the campus department will continue their work, Caton said.  

Steward will work part time handling all administrative tasks, such as payroll, balancing the department budget, scheduling and handling all on-campus and personnel issues, he said.

Steward will also continue his work as chief for the Livermore Falls Police Department and devote 40 hours a month of his off-duty time to cover the UMF department’s duties.

Steward has served as a reserve officer with the UMF Department of Public Safety/Campus Police for 14 years and has experience with the UMF community, Caton said.

“I owe Chief Steward a debt of gratitude for taking on the task of running two police departments in order to support me,” Caton said.  

F. Celeste Branham, UMF vice president for Student and Community Services, will continue to oversee the campus department.


Already experienced as a police chief, Steward recently did 56 hours of field training in preparation for the new duties, which are different from his tasks as chief in Livermore Falls, Caton said.

Steward hired Caton as a Livermore Falls officer, his first law enforcement position, in 2003.

Caton and his wife, Nissa, have a daughter Amara, 8, and a son Lennox, 5, and live in Farmington.

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