WILTON - A longtime Wilton police officer has lost his fight with cancer.

The Wilton Police Department on Sunday announced the passing of Sgt. Thomas Tunney.

Tunney, who was also known as "TJ," had been with the department for 31 years.

He won officer of the year in 2012 and in 2013 was awarded the New England Association of Chiefs of Police Medal of Valor for saving a person from a burning car.

A fellow officer recalls that once on a late midnight tour, Tunney picked up a homeless man on Route 7, took him to a Dunkin’ Donuts, let him order anything he wanted from the menu and paid for it with his own money.

His fellow officers had been organizing a fundraiser to help pay for his medical expenses. The fundraiser will still be held Thursday night in Stamford as a way to celebrate his life and help his family cover funeral costs. The remaining proceeds will go to a charity of the family's choice.