Norton police sergeant who died after contracting COVID-19 ‘was a friend to all’

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NORTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Hundreds of men and women in uniform marched to St. Mary’s Catholic Church Tuesday to pay their respects to Detective Sergeant Stephen Desfosses, who died soon after contracting COVID-19.

Desfosses was a 30-year veteran of the Norton Police Department. Before that, Desfosses attended the police academy with Norton Police Chief Brian Clark, who described him as loyal, trusting and dedicated.

“One of the reasons you see so many people here is because he was a friend to all,” Clark said. “He was the humorous one. He’s always quick with a joke.”

Clark said COVID-19 made its rounds through his department back in December. Desfosses was one of several to test positive, and he was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 20.

“The support that we’ve received from the community and the law enforcement community has been simply overwhelming,” Clark said.

Desfosses died on Jan. 13, after developing the flu and pneumonia. His death was a devastating blow not only to the department, but the community he served as well, all of which had been hoping for a much better outcome.

“He was a good man, he was well liked,” Norton resident Jim Precourt said.

Desfosses leaves behind his wife and four children. He will be laid to rest Wednesday at 11 a.m.

His family asks anyone who wishes to pay their respects to line up along the procession route, which is on Mansfield Avenue and West Main Street.

This isn’t the first time an officer has died after contracting COVID-19 in Bristol County. A Taunton officer died on Christmas Eve, soon after testing positive for the virus.

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