Even as a young Amherst patrolman, working nights, Tim Green had a habit that his colleagues noticed.
"Timmy would catch the guy, and he would give the arrest to someone else," Amherst Police Capt. Stephen J. McGonagle recalled. "He was never one to look for glory or an award or praise. In fact, he would turn it down.
"He was humble to the extreme."
So on Tuesday, the day before Assistant Police Chief Timothy M. Green retired, police brass didn't want to give him much warning before honoring him with the Amherst Police Department's Distinguished Service Award.
They were afraid he might balk at the whole idea.
Wednesday, Green closed out a 27 1/2 -year career that saw him promoted to lieutenant in 1992, captain in 1997 and assistant police chief in July 2007.
As a captain and assistant chief, he will be best remembered as a key administrator of the Bike Path Rapist Task Force and later as the department's public information officer.
Heady stuff for someone who always knew what career he wanted to chase, as a kid growing up in Williamsville.
"I can't tell you how long I wanted to be a policeman," Green said. "It was with me since I was probably 5 years old. Maybe it's because I was the youngest of five, and you're looking for some power over the [other] kids."
Green carved out a reputation as a low-key, Boy Scout-straight cop and administrator. As the public face of the department with the media for the last few years, he wasn't one to whisper tips or secrets to reporters. He was more guarded than that, always playing by the rules.
Colleagues recalled that Green, who has coached football at Buffalo State College and three Northtowns high schools in recent years, often saw things in football terms.
McGonagle remembered one time when a young officer made a mistake in police procedure.
"Hey, coach this guy up," Green told the officer's supervisor, "and make sure he puts it through the uprights next time."
Ever the football coach, Green, on his last day on the job, explained the football references.
"If I was really getting philosophical," he said, "I'd say football emulates life, and life emulates football."
Green also explained why the Distinguished Service Award means so much to him.
"You just wanted to be known as a go-to guy, that people could depend on you to roll up your sleeves and give them help," he said. "I always wanted to do the right thing. I was just trying to do a good job."
The 52-year-old Green leaves behind a legacy as a hardworking cop with high standards.
"His work ethic was exemplary every single day that he worked, and his integrity impeccable," McGonagle said. "Upon retiring, he will be greatly missed as a police officer, friend and role model.
"He was as straight as they come."