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Hero Down: Salem PD Officer Dana Mazola Killed In Head-On Crash

Salem, MA – Salem Police Department (SPD) Officer Dana Mazola was killed in a head-on collision on June 25.

The off-duty, 56-year-old officer was traveling on Jefferson Avenue when the crash occurred at approximately 11:20 p.m., WBZ reported.

Both vehicles had heavy front-end damage as a result of the impact.

Witnesses said it was apparent that the officers and medics who responded to the scene likely knew Officer Mazola, WBZ reported.

“Fire department was real upset,” said John Maslowski, who heard the collision from inside his nearby home. “I’m sure it’s somebody they knew.”

“The police officer’s car was complete mushed all the way up to the dashboard,” witness Kevin Wilson told WBZ. “It’s heartbreaking. I knew there was something really personal to that police officer that I saw leaning over the hood of his car.”

Officer Mazola was rushed to Salem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, WBZ reported.

The driver of the second vehicle was transported to the hospital in unknown condition.

The events that preceded the deadly crash remain under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police, WBZ reported.

Officer Mazola served with SPD for 31 years.

The SPD described him as a “father figure” to new officers and as “a sage big brother” to his fellow officers with years of service, WBZ reported.

“No one could ask for a more loyal, dedicated and committed officer to serve the community and the Department the way Officer Mazola did every single day of his 31 years on the job,” the SPD said. “He was a man of integrity who had a heart as wide as the whole outdoors. There is not a single officer or employee who knew him, past or present, who is not impacted by the tragic and sudden loss of Dana Mazola.”

Officer Mazola’s law enforcement career began in August of 1988, when he began working as a part-time correctional officer at the former Salem Jail, according to his obituary.

He also served as a Swampscott Police Department auxiliary police officer.

He joined the SPD as a reserve officer in 1989, and became a full-time officer for the department on July 11, 1990.

Officer Mazola was assigned to the patrol division at the time of his death, according to his obituary.

He was also a skilled background investigator and certified hostage and crisis negotiator.

Officer Mazola “appreciated the camaraderie of his family in Blue,” and served his community “with honor and pride,” according to the tribute.

In addition to his wife and daughters, Officer Mazola also leaves behind his father, brother, aunt, and many friends and extended family members.

“I was absolutely devastated to learn very early this morning about the accident that took the life of Salem Police Officer Dana Mazola,” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said in a statement, according to WBZ. “Dana was a conscientious and professional officer, a loving husband and father, and a devoted public servant to the people of Salem.”

Driscoll said Officer Mazola was a “conscientious rank and file patrol officer who worked hard every single shift.”

“Dana had a big heart and was a warm and caring family man,” the mayor continued. “On behalf of the residents he served with such diligence and dedication for 31 years, I want to express my deepest condolences to his wife Florene and his twin girls, Amanda and Savannah, and all of Dana’s family. This is an unimaginable and heartbreaking loss to them and to our whole community. May he rest in peace.”

Officer Mazola was laid to rest on July 2, according to his obituary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Salem Police Department Officer Dana Mazola, 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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