‘Loyal, trusted and dedicated’: Veteran Norton police officer dies after battle with COVID-19

NORTON, MASS. (WHDH) - The Norton Police Department announced that a beloved 30-year veteran of the force passed away Wednesday following a weekslong “courageous battle” with COVID-19.

Det. Sgt. Stephen Desfosses died peacefully with his family by his side at a Boston hospital after contracting the highly contagious virus shortly before Christmas, according to a statement released by Chief Brian Clark and the members of the Norton Police Department.

“When he went into the hospital on the 20th of December he told me he was going to beat this and I had no reason not to believe him because that’s him. Because that’s just him, he’s a fighter,” Clark said.

For several weeks he fought for himself, for his community, and for his wife and two daughters, ages 11 and 8-years-old.

Almost every night, officers drove by the Desfosses home as a reminder to his family, they were not alone.

“We’re a police family and he’s part of the family and so is she and the kids,” Clark said. “Since he went to the hospital, we started it just to give them some uplifting spirits.”

The chief, like many in the department, grew up with Desfosses. The two went to the police academy together and worked side-by-side for years. To him, this is a loss he never could have imagined.

“We all have bad days. on the job right now, this is the worst day I’ve ever had,” Clark said.

Desfosses was described as a  “loyal, trusted and dedicated member of this department” and held many positions including Detective Division Commander, shift supervisor, training officer and he commanded the award-winning Norton Police Honor Guard.

“Today is certainly a sad day for the Norton Police Department, the Norton Community, and the Desfosses family,” Clark said. “Steve Desfosses had a 30-year career here. A dedicated, loyal servant to the town residents. He was somebody who was always quick with a joke, very humorous. But, he was really like our go-to guy.”

Bunting now hangs outside the Norton Police Department in his honor.

He is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

A GoFundMe has been set up in support of his family.

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