Baldassare to step down as school resource officer | News
DANVERS — Danvers Police Sgt. Steve Baldassare has asked to be reassigned from his current role as Commander of the Community Services division and school resource officer at the end of the current school year, according to a statement issued by the town.
The move comes amid ongoing criticism of Baldassare’s handling of racist and homophobic hazing on the Danvers High boy’s hockey team, which Baldassare coached.
Last month the North Shore chapter of the NAACP asked for Baldassare to be reassigned.
In a statement issued by the town and signed by the police chief on Friday, Chief James Lovell said Baldassare asked to be reassigned from his position as commander of the Community Services Division. A new role has not been determined at this point.
Lovell also praised Baldassare’s work within the police department and said he is “confident” that Baldassare “will be successful in any role” to which he is assigned.
“Earlier in the week, Sgt. Steve Baldassare submitted a request to be reassigned from his current position as the Commander of the Community Services Division at the conclusion of the current academic year,” Lovell said in the statement. “I have accepted his request and we will begin the process to select and train his replacement in anticipation of the 2022-2023 school year … (Sgt.) Baldassare is a valued member of the Danvers Police Department’s Command Staff, a respected supervisor, police officer and investigator. At this time Sgt. Baldassare’s new role has not been decided, but based on his knowledge, skills, and abilities, I am confident he will be successful in any role he is assigned to and will continue to proudly serve the residents of Danvers.”
Town Manager Steve Bartha said he backed the chief’s position.
Baldassare has denied knowing about the hazing that occurred, which included violence.
He resigned as hockey coach. But a North Shore chapter of the NAACP called last month for a reassignment out of the schools entirely.
The town also faced sharp criticism for its handling of investigations into the matter, which it initially refused to release, then did so only after being ordered to. The versions released by the town, however, were heavily redacted and offered little information as to what had occurred.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis