NORTON (CBS) – Norton Police Detective Sergeant Stephen Desfosses has died after a battle with COVID-19. Desfosses served the community for over 30 years.

Police Chief Brian Clark said multiple officers in his department were diagnosed with COVID-19 back in mid-December, including Desfosses, who he considered a close friend.

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

Desfosses died early Wednesday after nearly a month in the hospital.

On Wednesday night, Norton Police posted a sign in his honor and hung bunting from the department to mark his death.

Norton Police Detective Sergeant Stephen Desfosses (Image credit Norton PD)

“Steve was somebody I went to the Academy with,” Clark said. “He was a personal friend. We all grew up in Norton together.”

Desfosses was a Norton Police officer for 30 years. He was the honor guard commander, and trained officers for the department. He’s the fourth police officer in the state to die of COVID-19, following officers from Boston, Taunton and Rutland. He leaves behind his wife Jessica and four kids — three daughters and a son.

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

In the family’s neighborhood Wednesday night, blue lights lined neighbors’ homes — a sign of solidarity and strength. And an online fundraiser has raised more than $100,000.

Detective Sergeant Desfosses’ wife posted on the fundraising page Wednesday calling the pain of his death indescribable. Officers feel that pain too — saying more than anything, they’ll miss his humor and loyalty.

“He’s a tough guy. I was betting on him but this is just an unpredictable disease,” Clark said.

Chief Clark said there are no funeral plans finalized yet but they will announce them in the future.

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