Haverhill Patrolman at Center of School Immigration Fray Chooses to Retire After 31 Years

Former Haverhill Patrolman Stephen Iannalfo. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The Haverhill patrolman, who came under fire last spring for allegedly telling middle school students they could be deported if present illegally, has retired.

Embattled Patrolman Stephen Iannalfo recently retired from the Haverhill Police Department. He had been assigned as a school resource officer at Albert B. Consentino School. According to one parent’s complaint, Iannalfo told students at the school last April they could be deported if they are inside the United States illegally. He had been on paid administrative leave until his retirement. His departure ends any possible disciplinary proceedings.

Iannalfo retires after nearly 31 years as a Haverhill police officer. Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro said Monday the patrolman’s retirement brings to 18 the total of unfilled jobs in the department. When reached by WHAV, Iannalfo confirmed his retirement but declined to comment further.

The patrolman allegedly displayed handcuffs during in a school classroom and placed minority students in fear over their families’ immigration status.

Consentino Principal John Mele said at the time the problem arose after Iannalfo was asked to speak to two classes about “anti-bullying.”

“During the course of the conversation, the SRO made some comments that could, by some, be reasonably considered to be culturally insensitive and inappropriate for a public school setting,” Mele wrote.

Last September, the Commonwealth issued new guidance about the role of school resource officers. A model agreement between schools and police departments suggests one goal should be “To foster a safe and supportive school environment that allows all students to learn and flourish regardless of race, religion, national origin, immigration status, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status.”

Comments are closed.