Funeral arrangements are set to take place this week for a Massachusetts police officer who died last week after a courageous battle with COVID-19.
Det. Sgt. Stephen Desfosses served the Norton Police Department for more than 30 years before he died on Wednesday, Jan. 13. He had been hospitalized at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston with coronavirus since the week before Christmas. He was 52.
The detective sergeant is survived by his wife and four children. Since his death, there has been an outpouring of support for the Desfosses family.
The department has thanked the community for the support already shown to his family and fellow officers.
Police officers have held a nightly caravan by the Desfosses' home in Attleboro, and blue lights have been lit at homes and businesses in nearby communities.
Desfosses' wake is scheduled for Tuesday at Saint Mary's Church, located at 1 Power Street in Norton, from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. There will be a law enforcement walk through at 4:30 p.m.
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Due to the pandemic, social distancing and COVID-19 guidelines there is very limited access at the church. The Desfosses family and the Norton Police Department request that anyone who wishes to pay their final respects to Defosses do so along the procession route to Saint Mary's.
At approximately 1:15 p.m., the funeral procession will enter the Town of Norton on Mansfield Ave. (Route 140) and continue through the center of town. The procession will take a right onto West Main Street and continue on West Main Street to Saint Mary’s Church on Power Street.
Anyone paying their final respects is urged to follow all COVID-19 guidelines and vigilantly remain socially distant.
Desfosses' funeral mass will be held Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. in Saint Mary's. His burial, along with police and military honors, will follow at the Norton Common Cemetery in Norton.
The mass will be aired on Facebook Live, the Norton chief of police said in a statement.
"The Desfosses Family and the Norton Police Department thank you for your unwavering support as we honor Detective Sergeant Stephen R. Desfosses," the statement read.
Massachusetts State Police and Boston police helped bring Desfosses home, escorting his body from Beth Israel back to Norton the day after he died.
Desfosses is being remembered as a "loyal, trusted and dedicated member" of the Norton Police Department, where he held many positions, including Detective Division Commander, shift supervisor, and training officer. He also commanded the award-winning Norton Police Honor Guard.
His wife, Jessica Desfosses, told NBC10 Boston last week that the family had taken the virus seriously and limited their exposure. She says they believe he might have gotten COVID-19 while working.