Oct. 1, 1968 – March 1, 2018
Thomas J. Moran, a Buffalo district police chief and former commander of the department’s Underwater Recovery Unit, died Thursday in the Cleveland Clinic after a short illness. He was 49.
Chief Moran headed District A in South Buffalo for the past five years.
“Tom Moran was a chief who, when you asked him to do something, you’d never hear ‘but,’ ” said Police Commissioner Byron C. Lockwood. “He would take whatever you asked him to do and complete the task. Every time I saw Tommy, he had no worries. He’d have this smile on his face and say, ‘Hey, boss.’ We’re going to miss him.”
"Tom was a friend and colleague. He was a dedicated officer and family man. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who didn't think highly of him," said former Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda, who appointed him as chief.
A lifelong resident of St. Ambrose Catholic Parish in South Buffalo, he was the youngest of six children. He attended St. Ambrose School and was a 1986 graduate of Bishop Timon High School.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Brockport, majoring in English and writing, and worked at first as a counselor at Father Baker Homes.
Chief Moran joined the Buffalo Police Department in 1994 and spent most of his early career at precincts on the city’s East Side. He was a Police Benevolent Association at-large representative.
In 2006, as an officer with what was then the Ferry-Fillmore District, he and another officer, Ronald Clark, received the Edward H. Butler Award for Heroism for stopping an armed robbery in a store and arresting the holdup man.
He was promoted to lieutenant in 2012 and was named to head District A shortly thereafter.
“He lived about five blocks from the office,” his nephew, John Gilmour, said.
He also served for seven years with the Underwater Recovery Unit and was commander when he was appointed District A chief.
“He got into diving later in life,” his nephew said, “and he really enjoyed it.”
“Tom Moran was truly ‘a good guy,’ to borrow a phrase he often uttered about others,” Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said. “He was a great leader, who saw the good in everyone he met. His quiet presence will be missed in the police department that he loved.”
He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and marched with club in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. He also was a lifelong member of St. Ambrose Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
He and his wife, the former Kelly Buczkowski, also a lifelong St. Ambrose Parish resident, were married in St. Ambrose Church in 1999.
Survivors also include two daughters, Ava and Lila; four brothers, James, Kevin, Brian and Terrance; and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the St. Ambrose Worship Site of Our Lady of Charity Catholic Church, 65 Ridgewood Road.