Police Chief John Roche passed away Thursday, Aug. 30, the Ridgefield Police Department confirmed today. He was 62-years-old.

“It is with heavy hearts that the men and women of the Ridgefield Police Department announce the death of Chief John Roche,” the department said in press release.

“The Chief dedicated his life to law enforcement. We marched behind him proudly.”

Chief Roche announced his retirement from the department last week on Friday, Aug. 24, after medical issues had limited his time at the job for the past several months.

Prior to his retirement, the Chief issued an order granting Maj. Steven Brown authority over the Police Department. Major Brown will continue in that role until the Police Commission selects a new chief to head the Department, The Press reported this week.

Chief Roche spent nearly 40 years in law enforcement — almost 38 of them as part of the Ridgefield Police Department.

He began his career in law enforcement as an officer in Rockaway, New Jersey, after graduating from the Morristown Police Academy. He joined the Ridgefield Police Department as a patrol officer in 1980.

He was named officer of the year in 1983, and was promoted to Chief of Police in 2008.

“His exemplary leadership and devotion showed us the right way to serve,” the Department said.

“The members and staff of the Ridgefield Police Department and the Ridgefield Police Commission offer our condolences and prayers to the Chief’s family.”