Lt. Michael Tilley with Hanover Sheriff’s Office dies after 5-year cancer battle

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- After a five-year battle with cancer, Lt. Michael Tilley with the Hanover County Sheriff's Office has died.

Tilley, who joined the Hanover County Sheriff's Office in October 2004, began his career on evening patrol duty before transferring to the then-new Safe Streets Unit in 2008. Following his 2015 promotion to Sergeant, he served on evening shifts in the Uniform Platform division before returning to the Safe Streets Unit as a supervisor.

The 49-year-old was also Officer in Charge of the Traffic Safety Unit and Commercial Motor Carrier Unit, the Sheriff's Office says. Over his career he received the Silver Star, three Unit Citations, Dedication to Duty (2011) and Excellent Service (2016) awards. In 2015 and 2016,  during his leadership of the Safe Streets Unit, the Sheriff's Office earned first place in the Commonwealth for  "Highest Seat Belt Use" and "Most Improved Seat Belt Use."

"These awards were a direct result of Lt. Tilley's leadership in traffic safety," the Sheriff's Office says.

"Lieutenant Tilley was a valued member of the Hanover County Sheriff's Office family and our community," the department continues, "We have lost one of our finest, and he will be greatly missed by all who had the honor of knowing him. Please keep the Tilley family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

Sheriff's Office officials said a memorial for Tilley has been set up in front of the Vaughan-Bradley Law Enforcement building.

"Thank you to all for the kind messages and words," officials posted.