The late Louis Brown.

SOUTH PORTLAND — Retired police officer Louis H. Brown, 88, passed away on Jan. 20 at his home in South Portland.  

Brown was a member of the South Portland Police Department for 30 years. When he joined the department in 1960 there were only 37 men on the force and only four police cars. To join the force he had to pass both written and oral exams and numerous interviews with the Civil Service Commission. 

Prior to joining the Police Depratment, Brown served in the Army during the Korean War, where he was a trooper in the U.S. Seventh Cavalry and rose through the ranks to sergeant by the end of his six years of service. He served from 1950 through 1955. 

He retired from the Police Department in 1990, but was still an active member of the community. During his retirement he became a shuttle driver in Biddeford. 

In a statement made by the South Portland Historical Society, Brown was a member of the society and donated items from the Police Department.  

“We were so blessed to have Lou’s support at the South Portland Historical Society,” wrote the society in an email. “He collected and donated many items to help document the police department during his years of service there. He was a true friend to us and will be missed very much. RIP, Lou.”


During the officer’s service the South Portland Police Department he approached Brent Purington, who shared that Brown saved his life when he was just only six weeks old.

In 1974, Brown responded to a call of a head-on crash that Purington’s family had been involved in. Brown and other officers were tending to Purington’s mother and brother, who were both severely injured and were unable to communicate with the officers. Brown was checking the car over when he saw an infant’s foot sticking out from under the dashboard. This is where Purington was discovered seriously injured and needed immediate medical aid. Due to Brown’s quick action, Brent received the life-saving medical attention he needed.

When Purington’s brother passed away in 2009 Brown attended the funeral and introduced himself to Brent Purington. Purington finally met the man who saved his life 35 years prior.  

According to a statement made by the South Portland Police Department, Purington told the officers that he would always be in debt to Brown for saving his life and that his attendance at his brother’s funeral left a positive, lasting impact on him. To show his appreciation and respect, Purington attended Brown’s funeral.

The police department’s Facebook page shared the story and received many comments for the story calling Brown “a true hero.” 

“Officer Louis Brown is a prime example of what it means to be a public servant and the community of South Portland will always be in his debt. Rest in Peace Officer Brown, we will take it from here,” said South Portland Police Department in a news release.

Brown was laid to rest at Forest City Cemetery in South Portland with military honors. He is survived by his son, Louis E. Brown, who Louis lived with until his death.

For more information about Brown, visit the Louis H. Brown Collection on the South Portland Historical website,

Comments are not available on this story.