MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – The Maryland Heights Police Department is mourning the loss of a longtime officer and former deputy chief who died after a battle with cancer.

Michael Kozuszek, who served in Maryland Heights for 27 years and retired in 2012, died Tuesday after a stomach cancer diagnosis.

Kozuszek spent 12 years as a deputy chief within the Maryland Height Police Department. He was also one of the department’s original 40 police officers hired in 1985.

Kozuszek served in law enforcement for nearly 40 years prior to his retirement, including roles with the Jennings Police Department and the St. Louis County Police Department. The Maryland Heights Police Department shared more about his impact via Facebook.