The Montgomery Township Police Department is mourning the loss of Detective Ward Thomas, who died Friday at his Hatfield home at the age of 44. The department hired him as a dispatcher in 1985, when he was 19 years old. He became an officer a year later and moved up to the K9 unit in 1989. He was promoted to detective in 2005, and the township supervisors honored him last year for his work as lead detective investigating the home-invasion robbery and murder of businessman Robert Chae at his Gwynmont Drive home in January of last year. Thomas will be remembered Wednesday at a service for friends and family at the Church of the Messiah in Lower Gwynedd.