A 21-year-old Thomas College student who died suddenly last week was an ambitious “go-getter” who was training to become an Oakland police officer, his family and friends said Tuesday.

Dustin Allard, who died suddenly last week, was training to become an officer with the Oakland Police Department. Contributed photo

The parents of Dustin Allard of Monmouth said in an email that Allard died Jan. 18 from a brain tumor “nobody knew he had.”

“He was never sick before the day he died and had never been diagnosed with anything,” his parents, Tammy and Gary Allard, said. “It was completely unexpected and fast.”

Allard graduated from Gardiner Area High School in 2019 and was in his final semester at Thomas College studying business administration. He was completing the police academy and on track to become a police officer in Oakland. Outside of school, he worked for an afterschool program run by the Alfond Youth & Community Center. He also had his sales agent license and worked at a real estate firm based in Auburn.

Allard’s parents said he was an old soul. Not only in that he was a “quintessential gentleman” — polite, kind and gentle — but in his drive and ambition at only 21 years old.

Allard’s academic advisor at Thomas College, Dan Leland, said Tuesday that Allard was a leader in his program — “eager and a go-getter” — who tackled new hobbies and interests with enthusiasm.


“While his time was short, he filled his cup to the brim,” Leland said.

It came as no surprise when Allard popped into Leland’s office one day to let him know that he’d earned his sales agent license, and was interested in purchasing a rental property and building an asset portfolio, Leland said.

David Foster, who worked with Allard at the Auburn real estate company, the Fontaine Family, said he first met Allard when Allard was a college sophomore who cold-called him to offer his services making 3D virtual tours of property listings, for a fee.

While Foster didn’t need the service, he said something about Allard kept him on the phone anyway.

“I realized there was something special about him,” Foster said. “I didn’t expect that from a younger person, that initiative and drive.”

Although Allard could have opted for a career in real estate, he decided to switch to law enforcement — something his family said in Allard’s obituary was a “lifelong dream” of his.


“(He was) always wanting to make a difference in the lives of others,” his parents said Tuesday.

Oakland’s school resource officer, Tracey Frost, said Tuesday that the Police Department is “a little shook up” by the sudden loss of their cadet.

At a time when departments are finding it difficult to attract young people to law enforcement, Frost said “to get such a high-quality young person interested in it … we were obviously really excited.”

Frost said Allard was still a couple of months from completing the hiring process, but the department was committed and looking forward to welcoming him to the force.

“We had heard over and over again just what an outstanding young man he was,” Frost said. “We had every anticipation he was going to be a really, really good officer for us and it’s just an absolute shame he never got that chance.”

Allard worked with children at the Atwood After School Care program run by the Alfond center in Oakland. The childcare coordinator there, April Taylor, said children adored Allard.


“He made sure he made time for every single child,” Taylor said.

Many children who have a tough time connecting with adults found it easy to get along with Allard, she said.

His parents said their son “loved life every day,” and “made a lasting impression on everyone he met and worked with.”

They said donations in Allard’s name can be made to the child care program at the Alfond center.

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