WILTON, Conn. -- Thomas J. "T.J." Tunney Jr. -- lifelong resident of Stamford and longtime officer with the Wilton Police Department -- died Sunday, Jan. 3. He was 61.
Tunney worked for the Wilton Police Department for 31 years. He was sworn in in 1985, was promoted to sergeant in 2000 and retired Jan. 1 of this year.
He received many thank-you letters, commendations and awards during this time. Career highlights include:
- Wilton Police Department Medal of Valor.
- New England Association Chiefs of Police Medal of Valor.
- In June 2008, Sgt. Tunney and Officers Phillipson Barrett located a woman in her car and in labor at the Splash Car Wash. They assisted with delivering the baby, who had the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck. Both mother and child are doing well.
- Meritorious Service Award in May 2011, for his off-duty actions. Sgt. Tunney witnessed a reckless driver cause an accident, where a gasoline tanker rolled onto its side. He attempted to save the occupants while the truck was on fire and then detained the suspect, who was attempting to leave the scene.
- American Red Cross Hero’s Award for an incident in October 2012, where he rescued a crash victim from his burning car. Sgt. Tunney suffered burns but was able to save the victim.
- Officer of the Year in 2012.
A celebration of life dinner will be held Thursday, Jan. 7. Proceeds will go to funeral expenses, then to charity. It was initially scheduled as a fundraiser for Tunney's medical expenses. For details, see the Wilton Daily Voice article here.
A Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 1200 Shippan Ave., Stamford. Interment will be private. The Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting with the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wilton Police Benevolent Association, 240 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897, or the Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405, or by clicking here.
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