Officer Nicholas Meserve, center, and other Lewiston police officers cross Ash Street in Lewiston as they walk down Howe Street searching for a man who shot at a vehicle at the corner of Sabattus and College streets in 2016. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

LEWISTON — A Lewiston police officer died in February of an accidental opioid overdose.

Nicholas Meserve, 34, died from acute fentanyl intoxication, according to Police Chief Brian T. O’Malley.

Nicholas Meserve

O’Malley said an investigation by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death. An investigation by the Maine Attorney General’s Office, Maine State Police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency continues.

O’Malley said Meserve’s death “is a very personal matter for the Meserve family” and, “I hope it’s a reminder that the opioid epidemic touches the lives of many in the community, regardless of their wealth, race, religion or profession.”

He said the Lewiston Police Department maintains an employee assistance program and a peer support team. He said his department conducts regular reviews of an officer’s use of force, sick time use, job performance evaluations and complaints from the public. He said there was nothing in these reviews or observations of other officers to indicate that Meserve might have been battling drug dependency or addiction.

O’Malley said the city is in negotiations with the police unions to establish a drug-testing policy as a means of identifying potential substance use issues and providing resources for employees to deal with dependency or addiction issues.

Meserve, who was born in Lewiston and attended Auburn and Gray-New Gloucester schools, died Feb. 8. It was reported then as a result of an underlying medical condition.

He worked as a corrections officer for the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office, and in 2009 graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. He was hired by the Lewiston Police Department as a patrol officer that same year.

Meserve was a volunteer at Camp POSTCARD, a free, week-long summer camp for fifth- and sixth-graders, and the Special Olympics.

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