A longtime area law enforcement official has died. Former Gates Police Chief Thomas Roche died Tuesday afternoon after a battle with cancer. He was 71.
Roche spent several years in the U.S. Army Reserves, and joined the Gates Police Department in 1967.
He was the longest serving chief in the Gates Police Department, becoming chief in 1974, and retiring in 2006.
Roche also served as president of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.
The department had less than a dozen full time, and a few part time officers when he became chief, and expanded to 32 officers by the time he retired.
Funeral arrangements are pending.