JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Johnston Police Department is mourning the loss of its former police chief. He was 54.

Joe Razza passed away Friday morning after a battle with an illness, according to Mayor Joseph Polisena Jr.

“His energy, determination and kindness reverberated throughout the department to his officers and to the residents of Johnston. There were countless times when residents faced public safety issues, Chief Razza would personally visit them, hear their stories and work with them to find a solution to their problems,” Polisena Jr. said.

“He will be forever remembered as a chief who made a lasting impression in the Town of Johnston,” he continued. “My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Mandy, and his entire family.”

Razza became chief in 2020 and stepped down late last year. He has been with the department since 1998.

He also served the town as Emergency Management Director and Medical Emergency Distribution Systems planner. He also served at the Rhode Island Municipal Training Academy as the lead instructor in Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Code.

“Our thoughts are with the entire Razza family and the people of Johnston,” Gov. Dan McKee said.

McKee has directed Rhode Island state flags to be flown at half-staff at all state facilities and buildings.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.