LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Lancaster Police Department announced via Facebook Wednesday that Officer Ronald Smith has died at the age of 55 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Smith joined LPD in 2007 and served with the National Guard from 1984-85 before joining the U.S. Army’s Airborne division, where he served for another 20 years before retiring in 2005. During his time in the military, he served in South Korea, Italy and at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He worked in Iraq as a military contractor from 2005-07 before joining the Lancaster Police Department.

The department described Smith as a “true professional,” who was highly dedicated to his job, taking training classes on his own time and traveling out of state to increase his skillset.

They said he had a commitment to his duties and was known for his willingness to patiently assist those in need of help, including fellow vets, who were in crisis. The department also said Smith was well-liked and respected by everyone in the LPD, and they will greatly miss him.

He is survived by his wife, Michelle, and their four sons, Clayton, Christopher, Shane, and Shawn.