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Hero Down: Norton PD Deputy Chief Thomas ‘Tommy’ Petersen Dies After Brief Illness

Providence, RI – Norton Police Department (NPD) Deputy Chief Thomas “Tommy” Petersen died on Tuesday due to complications of a stomach ailment, according to his department.

The 51-year-old deputy chief went to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro on July 10 due to stomach pain and was transferred to Rhode Island Hospital on Sunday, NPD Chief Brian Clark told The Sun Chronicle.

He passed away on Tuesday while surrounded by his family, Chief Clark said in a press release that evening.

“It is with great sadness that Chief Brian Clark and members of the Norton Police Department announce the passing of Deputy Chief of Police Thomas J. Petersen Jr. who passed away earlier today at Rhode Island Hospital surrounded by his family after a brief illness,” the chief wrote.

Deputy Chief Petersen, a 33-year veteran of the department, originally joined NPD as a dispatcher.

He worked in all aspects of the agency over the next three decades, to include patrol, detectives and administration.

Deputy Chief Petersen also served on the Northern Bristol County Drug Task Force, the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council Investigative Support Unit, and was commander of the Detective Division, Chief Clark said.

“He embraced community policing and was a mentor, trainer, and coach to not only officers but students as well,” the chief added.

Deputy Chief Petersen leaves behind his wife of nearly 28 years, Michelle, as well as his sons, Nicholas and Matthew, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his sisters, in-laws, nephews, niece, aunts, uncles, cousins, his NPD family, and his extended law enforcement family.

“He will always be remembered as a fair and loyal man and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him,” his obituary read.

Deputy Chief Petersen will be laid to rest on July 20.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Norton Police Department Deputy Chief Thomas “Tommy” Petersen, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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