The Berkshire Eagle  reports longtime North Adams Public Safety Commissioner John Morocco, who retired in 2012, died Friday, after battling health issues for several years.

Those who worked with Morocco recalled his above-and beyond dedication to the city, policing and the Berkshire County Drug Task Force.

Morocco joined the city Police Department in 1975, according to a joint statement from North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard, Fire Chief Steve Meranti and Police Chief Jason Wood.

State Rep. John Barrett III, D-North Adams, who appointed Morocco to the commissioner's post when he was mayor said "He was a cop's cop. That was his life. He was committed to it," Barrett said. "Whether we agreed about everything or not, he was the best person for the job."

"Like so many people in the city who answer the call to service, Commissioner Morocco loved the city of North Adams and took incredible pride in our community and gave back as a volunteer with many community groups. It was a love matched and rivaled only by his love for his family, including his wife, Sue, his children Tammy and Bill, and his grandchildren," the statement from North Adams officials said.

"We offer our sincere condolences to The Morocco family, and to Commissioner Morocco's brothers and sisters in uniform in the North Adams Police and Fire Departments."